Category Archives: Christian Metaphysics

Samson: When “God” is the Hero of your Faith, then “You” become a Hero of Faith

Samson is one of the most slandered heroes in the Scripture. Even as a boy, I always looked up to Samson. Not only his strength, but his faith. Even as a child I saw the New Testament defining Samson as a hero of faith, along with David, Moses, Abraham and others as a person, whom the world was not worthy to have known. Samson is truly someone I can look up to and emulate, just as much as David and other heroes of faith.

However, growing up, I almost exclusively heard Samson used only to say, “don’t be like Samson, who went after a prostitute.” Well, obviously! But why do mere mortals only refer to Samson this way, when the Scripture and the Preacher only define him as a man to emulate as a hero of faith? Jesus says what men often priorities, God finds an abomination. What God prioritizes, men often put at the bottom of the list, if at all.

The first true positive teaching on Samson I ever read was by Vincent Cheung.[1] Some of my thoughts are based on this essay. See footnote for source material.

The gospel of John has this thesis statement, “I have written these things that by believing in His name, you will have eternal life.” After feeding the 5 thousand, the crowds ask Jesus what are the “works” of God that they need to do. Jesus answers them by saying the “work” the Father has commanded you to do is to believe in the Son, whom He as sent. This is in essence, the first and greatest commandment in application. Favoring God above all others and obedience starts at the epistemology level. Its starts with knowledge. Once man abandons himself as a starting point, and humbly receives God’s revelation, everything else flows from this, including the second greatest commandment. This is to say, the most important act of obedience is faith in what God as revealed. Indeed the gospel of grace is itself a commandment to all men, for Paul says in Acts 17 to the Greeks, that God has “commanded” all to repent. The gospel as wonderful as it is, is still a commandment. Christian ethics is God’s commands and precepts. Thus, obeying God by believing in Him to accept the good things Christ has purchased by His blood, is the height of Christian morals and ethics.

I say all this to point out how some very foolish people think Samson is a moral failure. They could not be more wrong. Because Samson’s faith was so strong, he is therefore, a super strong example of moral power, and ethical superiority. The point is not if one specific Christian has sinned, for we all stumble, even after being born from above. As John says, if we say we have not sinned, we are lairs.

Faith, is more than just receiving Jesus’ good news of forgiveness and sonship, it also includes believing God at every point of contact with reality, where the Scripture gives a truth claim. Whether it is simply believing a categorical claim about reality in general, or a promise that God will help in this specific way, all of it is faith. Since we struggle, and the world is often against us as Christians, our faith is often focused on our relation with our Father, and specific promises that deal with our situations.

Often our faith in what God has revealed is tested in our immediate context and struggle. Whether it is about believing God’s claim of creating the worlds in 6 days, God’s definition of male or female, or healing of a terminal sickness, our faith is tested in what we are facing. Therefore, to define a strong “faith” is more than looking at the bear basic gospel message, and if there is faith or unbelief. Paul and New Testament writers, often referred to their audience in confidence that they are part of God’s elect, but also rebuked them for their immaturity; they must feed them milk rather than solid food. Thus, they have faith, but it is immature and defective. They have gospel believing faith, but they are still categorized as immature. Their faith needs grow, because in the immediate context of their testing, they are failing.

Samson is a hero of faith, because in his immediate context of struggle and testing, he shown forth as a brilliant superstar of faith. His faith was not a flashlight in the dark, it was a sun breaking over the horizon. Oh, that Christians would be like Samson.

I have often used Samson as a test, when trying to evaluate other Christians. I want to see how they value faith, and if they value it like the Scripture and Jesus Christ does. I have often, been disappointed and angered. One missionary, with brutal honesty, told me he did not like that Samson was mentioned in Hebrews 11 as someone for us to emulate. At least he was honest that he did not like the bible. For people like him, the bible is not moral enough. Jesus is not moral enough for them.

I will not go over the story and major points of Samson, for that see the above essay by Vincent. I want to focus only on faith.

Samson after killing the thousand people with the bone, said this prayer,

Samson was now very thirsty, and he cried out to the Lord, “You have accomplished this great victory by the strength of your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of these pagans?”

First point. Samson spoken to God in a disrespectful way. This will be important later.

Second point, Samson acknowledged it was God who gave him the strength for this victory. Thus, even at the beginning of Samson’s victory over the Philistines, he was not doing it in unbelief. Samson from the start, was crediting God with his own strength and power. Samson was not stealing from God by saying he did it, not God. Samson must have heard the word his parents spoke to him that God gave them. He believed it. He believed God would strengthen him and would give him victory over the Philistines.

What lead up to Samson killing the thousand Philistines? His own countrymen, maybe people he even grew up with (his peers) freely handed him over to the Philistines. Remember Gideon? With only 300, he defeated an army. Here now are 3000 men from Judah! If they would, repent and believe, God could free them in an hour, no, in a minute.

The big idea is the context for Samson’s faith being tested. Imagine, being surrounded by 3000 Christians (some who you went to Sunday school with). You are surrounded by unbelief from those who say they believe. But it gets worse, they actively preach and encourage you to not believe God’s promise. The ones meant to help, persecute you. The ones meant to build you up, are demons who inspire unbelief. This is Samson’s test and context. Many fold in this situation. The 3000 Judah cowards show this. No friends and even your own church peers’ pressure you to not trust in God’s promise. Some might have just enough strength, to not renounce God’s promise as they are martyred, and by this, end their ability to help the church. However, would you have enough faith in God’s promise, to not only affirm but in faith acquire the promise to kill 1000 men with a bone, and advance the Kingdom of God? What would you have done? I will not answer that for you.

After Samson’s sin with Delilah (which is more about female companionship rather than just sex), has his eyes poked out and is a slave in the hands of his enemies.

Most in this context and testing avert to David Hume’s empiricism and make truth claims about reality with their observations, rather than, faith in God’s promise. Most use their observation about their circumstance and feelings to say, “It’s God’s will for me to be here, and so, either God has abandoned me, or God wants me to be die here for my punishment (and thus ending my ability to be a judge according to His promise).” All of these sayings are from spiritual losers, and spiritual perverts.

The sin and wickedness of this is manifold, but the foundation sin is rejecting God’s promise as a truth claim about reality and negating it with one’s observations. God’s promise for your forgiveness, or your healing, or help in trouble is a truth claim about reality, and so, to use your human observation to negate this truth claim, is to proclaim a human starting point is more foundation for truth rather than God’s revelation. Sadly, most who claim Christian give this testimony more than anything else. They have their reward.

Samson’s last prayer when like this,

“My Lord Yahweh, remember me!
Please give me strength this one time, O God, so that I can repay with one act of revenge to the Philistines for my eyes.

Samson not only acknowledges God as his strength, but did so in a respectful way. This was the greater of his moral mistakes. Delilah, was in fact the lesser of the two moral problems. The first commandment is always the greatest. Disrespect for God is always greater compared to sins committed against the second commandment. Samson thus, made the most important ethical repentance and change that faced him. However, this not the point I wish to focus on.

Look at His faith! Even with everything Samson could observe and calculate from his human observations, which said God was done with him, Samson did not approach God on this human foundation. Rather, Samson approached God on His promise.

Not our observation, but God’s promise defines reality as it truly is. By approaching God on the foundation of His promise, you are acknowledging God’s sovereignty over reality. This exalts Him and honors Him. You are acknowledging His sovereign word defines reality, and not what you can gather from inductive empiricism.

Samson’s faith rested on the fact that “GOD” defined Samson as a judge to the Philistine, not Samson. The sovereign Yahweh, said Samson was a judge, because Yahweh wanted it so. As Paul says in Romans 9, before they are born, before they had done “good or evil choices,” God chose to love one and hate another. Yahweh in love, before Samson sinned or did good, chose him to be judge; the only sovereign God chose him to be a hero of faith. It was about God’s choice. And God is still here. He is still sitting on His throne. His callings and gifts are irrevocable. His mercy endures forever.

So what, if Samson is a slave to the Philistines, by his own bad choices? What does this have to do with negating God’s callings and God’s loving choice to make Samson a judge? Nothing!

Some can see this in the gospel but fail to apply this correctly to all of God’s promises about reality. In Romans 5:9 Paul says on the foundation of Jesus blood, you are declared righteous by the Father. Thus, there is nothing “you” can do about it, because there was no “you” for how this justification happened. The ethical application, which is faith, is worked in you by God. This is true for all of God’s promises.

God is the only real cause for anything and all reality. There is no such thing as secondary causes, because “relative” to God, there is no other cause. There is no dualism in Christian ontology. Thus, every act of faith is caused by God in us. And every act of unbelief is equally worked directly by God in us, even if Satan is working it in the man, because God is the one directly controlling Satan’s mind and the man’s mind.

God’s sovereignty is arbitrarily in the sense of what God wants. It is not arbitrary in the sense of being fickle or constantly up and down. God has perfect control over His Mind. He only does what He wills.

God cannot lie and He is immutable, thus, God will not lie to us. However, this has nothing to do with God arbitrarily wanting to hate Esau and love Jacob before they had done any good or bad. This is why Paul says in the same chapter that human beings are like a lump of clay, and God arbitrarily grabs a handful of clay from the lump and then forms it into a pee pot and then another to be a beautify vase. It is God’s choice.

There is confusion over God’s sovereignty being arbitrary. Its arbitrary, in that God does what He wants, but not in the sense it is fickle, or that it goes up and down.
He is immutable. God cannot lie.

He gave promises in the Bible based on the demand of faith, and they are all yes in Jesus Christ.
Therefore, a Saint looking at a promise in the Bible, is all the confirmation they need that it is God’s will for them.

It is like a child playing with LEGOS. Would I be wrong for taking some blue colored LEGOS and some brown ones, and then treat the blue LEGOS as the bad LEGOS and the brown ones as good? Of course not. Therefore, men have no argument against God, for no matter what they say against His sovereignty they would condemn themselves in the same breath. I am the only sovereign over the LEGOS I am building. If I sovereignly decide, any LEGO man with “x” shade of brown on their body will be a strong judge, then it is so.

God created and put Samson with the brown LEGOS, with “x” brown shade for his upper body; He wrote on his t-shirt, “A judge to the Philistines.” This was based on what God wanted. It is final. It is irrevocable. It is reality.

Samson honored God by believing Him, even when everyone and everything said no. Samson said yes. Samson said, “God gets to define reality, not men.” “God is the true sovereign God. If God said I will be a judge, then it is so. If God’s choice was based on His own sovereign arbitrary choice, and had nothing to do with me, then even my own choices do not negate God’s choice to use me.”

And so, even in a besetting sin, God will give victory. Samson looked beyond human observation and saw that in God’s eyes, Samson was placed by God with the brown LEGOS, and God made him strong. God’s choice was arbitrary, but not fickle. And God still rules; thus, Samson was still with the brown LEGOS. This is God’s world. The world runs on His definitions and choices, not mans.

Peter in Acts 2 and Jesus in John 15 uses the doctrine of predestination as a way to encourage faith for baptism of the Spirit, and faith to ask for anything and receive this from God. They used God’s sovereignty to encourage and elevate faith. Someone who uses predestination to diminish the baptism of the Spirit (and speaking in tongues) and faith to ask for whatever you want and have God give it to you, is an anti-Christ and a liar. They have no idea what they are talking about. They have no clue what is God; they do not know what His sovereignty means. God’s sovereignty is too good, too spiritual and too intellectual for them to understand.

Hebrews 12 mentions besetting sins for Christians (which is so sensitive for many), and the encouragement is to look to Jesus who is the “author” and “perfecter” of our faith. On the ultimate level God does it, and He wants you to know it, and keep looking to the fact Jesus will sovereignty control your faith to victory. Vincent really helped me years ago, to dismantle the false use of God’s sovereignty the Reformed teach, in his essay, “Predestination and Miracles.” The bible uses God’s absolute control over our faith as an encouragement for power and victory, and not “if God wills,” and just let life roll over us.

This is how it is with all of God’s promises that are “yes and amen” in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV, “No matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.” Thus, If you are looking at a promise today that is a help for your situation, then that alone shows it is God’s will for you.

If you read a promise on healing it is your definition as much as God made plants being organic part of their definition. God’s promises for healing is having “z” shade of LEGO brown legs. God’s word tells you, that God has created you with “z” legs. It is your reality. Faith is simply agreeing with God’s sovereign right, authority, and power to create you this way in Christ. God is the only sovereign God.

Samson said Yes to God’s promise to use him as a judge. God honored Samson’s acknowledgment of His promise, by granting him the most powerful display of strength he had ever used.

In our lives, in the context of our struggles, Samson is a hero to be emulated in our faith. He serves as a shinning sun, that pushed aside every human starting point for knowledge, and only stood on God’s sovereign promise/definition of reality.

Considering God’s promise to always give a “yes” to our faith in His many promises in Christ, what excuse do we have? Jesus said we have been predestined to bear fruit for God, and this fruit includes asking and receiving whatever we ask for.

As a personal note. I remember back in high school, when my band (Kairo Music) was asked to play for a Church of God boys of Tennessee retreat. There were only about 20 boys, and most were from broken homes. Not your typical event a young Christian rock band plays at, for there is little return on such an event in the eyes of the world. However, God moved us to go and so we did. We were very busy that week, and could not prepare in way of playing and praying, as we often try to do. We were in the cafeteria, praying right before the event, and we all were filled with unbelief about the event. At that moment, my twin (Joshua) began to prophecy, “I want to bless these boys. Your effort to prepare, or not prepare has nothing to do with My own desire to bless them. I want to bless them, and so I will.” The Spirit of God came down that night and many boys were saved and baptized in the Spirit. Years later, the person in charge of this event stumbled upon on me. He then told me that for years they only had 20-30 boys show up, but something changed that night we played, when the Spirit fell. He said now hundreds of boys are now showing up and are hearing the gospel preached to them.

The truth of the matter is that it should not take God to give us a public rebuke to remind us that God’s promises are “yes” in Christ. His promises are based in His sovereign pleasure to bless all of His elect Children. If God says, “if you have faith to be forgiven or healed, then you will get,” then God has just told has us that HE WANTS TO BLESS US. He just defined us in this reality, as those who are healed by faith. It is God’s sovereign, arbitrary good pleasure to define us this way. It has nothing to do with us, and our performance.

Because God’s promises for healing, for example is a “yes” (James 5:15) just as much as forgiveness of sins by faith (James 5:15), then it is an accurate and precise definition of reality. In essence, when the Holy Spirit sovereignly opens your mind to see and believe God’s promise, you see that God as placed you with the brown LEGOS. It is God telling you, “I have defined clouds to float, and the sun to shine. However, I have defined you this way. You had nothing to do with why I put you here. I wanted to. I am still here. I am still on the throne. And so, you are still with the brown LEGOS. Your definition is this: if you ask for forgiveness, then you get it. If you ask in faith for healing, then you get it.”

This is God’s world, and His arbitrary choices. And He has defined you this way. It is who you are. It does not matter, where you are now. It does not matter if you have 3000 friends who cannot strain out one ounce of faith for God. It does not matter if you are being disciplined by God for bad choices. God’s arbitrary choices are immutable and irrevocable. You are still a child of God, and you are STRONG in Christ. You have the armor of God! You are predestined for baptism of the Spirit with power, you are predestined to get answers to your prayers. You are who God has made you; You are defined as God has defined you through Jesus Christ. There is no fear in a God who loved you so much that He saved you when a sinner, and who cannot lie. He promises to use His absolute and direct sovereign control over all reality to author a faith of victory for you. He will cause you to mature.

This positive doctrine of our faith by the predestination and sovereignty of God is seeing Jesus as the “author and perfecter,” of our faith, and therefore, He is the the “hero of our faith.” He will not fail in His love to cause us to bear fruit and remain in Him. He is our great hero who works in us faith to acquire these things. It is certain. God is the hero of our faith, in that we delight knowing God will sovereignly control and prefect our faith for victory over the world and acquiring the promises. Oh, what a hero is His to us!

When God becomes hero of your faith, then you become a hero of faith, whom the world was not worthy to have known.

Endnotes______________

[1] Vincent Cheung. Samson and His Faith. 2003.

Baptism Of Power: Applied Eschatology

[This is a first draft canalized section, from the Eschatology section, from my systematic theology book. ]

When Jesus on His throne becomes central when thinking about eschatology, rather than man-centeredness, the application is power; this power comes from baptism in the Spirit. It also comes from an indominable faith that moves mountains, and approaches the throne of grace to receive the very thing one asks for. One becomes focused expanding the Kingdom of God, in power, truth and love.

The New Testament teaches in more than on place saying something to the effect, “by believing God’s love and forgiveness for you, you are empowered to love and forgive one another,” (i.e. Colossians 3:9-13). Thus, who would contend with us saying, “if you want to be mature in loving others, you need to be focused on God’s love for you,”? You need to be radically Jesus-centered focus, if you want to be mature in your own love and mercy given to your fellow brethren. The same is in eschatology. If you want Power to advance the Kingdom, if you want Power to help those who are suffering, then you must be radically focused on where Power comes from, Jesus on His throne. If you want Heaven’s power, then being focused on men and government is a contradiction.  The reason why so many focus on man and governments in eschatology, is because the LOVE being focused on man. Man-centeredness is their idol and god. They have their reward. Human power is all they will have.

As for us, we keep our minds where our life and power is at, the right of God with Jesus.

Jesus began to do and to teach, 2 until the day he was taken up, after he had given orders through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen…

4 He commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for what was promised by the Father, which you heard about from me. 5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now”…

they began asking him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 But he said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth.”
(Acts 1:1-8 LEB)

“And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all,”
(Acts 4:33 LEB)

2:1 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in the same place. 2 And suddenly a sound like a violent rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues like fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability to speak out.

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them, “Judean men, and all those who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words! 15 For these men are not drunk, as you assume, because it is the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel..

30 Therefore, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 by having foreseen this, he spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he abandoned in Hades nor did his flesh experience decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up, of which we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he has poured out this that you see and hear.

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all those who are far away, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.”

9:17 So Ananias departed and entered into the house, and placing his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight and got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking food, he regained his strength. And he was with the disciples in Damascus several days.

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who were listening to the message. 45 And those believers from the circumcision who had accompanied Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as we also did!” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days…

11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 Therefore if God gave them the same gift as also to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” 18 And when they heard these things, they became silent and praised God, saying, “Then God has granted the repentance leading to life to the Gentiles also!”

19:1 And it happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the inland regions and came to Ephesus and found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “But we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit!” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into the baptism of John.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the one who was to come after him—that is, in Jesus.” 5 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.

____

If Jesus sitting on the throne is the foundation and focus for eschatology, and His commands for power still stand, then applied eschatology for Christians is baptism in the Spirit, faith and miracles.

As has been discussed in the previous section on salvation and the gospel, baptism of the Spirit is a (logical speaking) necessary consequence of the gospel. We will briefly go over this.

“Always remember that Jesus Christ,
a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead.
This is the Good News (GOSPEL) I preach,”
2 Timothy 2:8 (NLT).

As has been stated before, some traditions and heretical teachings have a tendency to limit what the term “gospel” means, as taught by the Scripture.  Imputed righteousness and being declared righteous by the Father is a super awesome doctrine, but there is more that the bible defines that belongs to “good news,” than a few narrow doctrines. As usually men are habitually and systematically man-centered, so that instead of yielding to a purely biblical definition of that the gospel means, they yield to tradition and men.  We know who they serve.

Paul teaches in this passage that the gospel includes that Jesus was raised from the dead “as a descendant of King David.” This refers to the promise God made to “King” David about a descendant that will come from him. There are two aspects of this promised person. One, he will be the saving Messiah. The second, is that He will be a “King” on a throne, ruling in power and authority.

This descendant of King David, according to Paul, is connected to the fact that Jesus was raised. This point of this is simple, for there are only two aspects to it. When you and I are resurrected, it is not necessarily connected to us sitting at God’s right hand as King and Judge over all things; however, this is precisely what it means for Jesus. Jesus is raised as the promised King, from King David, who sits on a throne of power. That is, Jesus’ resurrection by the Father from the grave, cannot be disconnected from the fact that His rising is a rising to sit on a throne. The doctrine of Jesus rising form the grave is the same thing as His rising to sit on the throne as King. One cannot separate Jesus’ resurrection from His sitting on the throne as a King. The doctrine cannot be separated like that. Jesus raised from the grave is not to some nebulous place in the clouds. We are told and know where He was raised to. He was raised to the right hand of the Power. This doctrine for Paul, is “the gospel he preached.”

Also note, this is Paul to Timothy. Furthermore, this is the gospel Paul preached to the gentiles; thus, is not a specific doctrine for Jews or something like that.

Peter, in the first recorded apostolic gospel sermon, harps on this aspect of Jesus being King David’s descendants, who was raised to the position of throne power and authority. It took up much of Peter’s gospel sermon.  Again, one cannot say, “this was for the Jewish audience,” when Paul as the apostle to the gentiles, to Timothy, says this is the gospel he also preached.

Peter sums up Jesus’ rising as the seated King from David as,

“both messiah and King.”

Thus, this promised descendant from David, according to Peter includes both the “saving Messiah” and “King” aspect to it. The resurrection is part of the gospel, most would admit, but the resurrection cannot be separated from that fact that it is a resurrection as a King to a throne. This power the Father “worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this age but also in the coming one, 22 and he subjected all things under his feet,” Ephesians 1:20-22. Again, Peter does not separate the saving and Throne aspect of Jesus Christ as the risen descendant of David. It was the gospel Paul preached and it was also the gospel Peter preached. The promise included both, and thus cannot be separated by theologians without blaspheme.

Peter then makes connection to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. His argument is this. Jesus as the descendant King from King David, was raised to the right hand of God, and in His position of power, has poured power out His power to us, through the baptism of the Spirit. That is, what has this newly seated King done with His position of Power? What will He decree? What will this seated descendant King of David do with all this authority and power? Peter’s answer is this: He gives us His power and authority so that we can overcome the world and spread His kingdom to every corner.

“So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”  So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith,” Galatians 3:5-8 NIV

The promise to bless, from God to the man Abraham, thus includes the Spirit and miracles. Since even the Old Testament speaks of the saints having God’s Spirit to empower them to have faith and follow God, “the Spirit,” spoken by Paul to the Galatians is most likely referring to the baptism of the Spirit.  Paul further says, this blessing promised is “the gospel.” Thus, the gospel according to what the Scripture preaches, included the Spirit and miraculous power. Why is this “gospel” not systematically taught in pulpits today. Because many are preachers for Satan rather than obedient servants of God.

But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus,”” Acts 17:6-7 NIV

Paul preached on throne aspect of Jesus enough, that the opponents had no issue summarizing, even if they slandered by taking the meaning in the wrong way, Paul’s gospel as a King on a throne who rules over all people.

Jesus in His last words in the Scripture says, “I, Jesus. …I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” This whole apologetic revelation to John is predicated by Jesus on the metaphysics that He is the King promised from the line of David, who is even now on His throne.

In the gospel, it teaches and proclaims a metaphysics of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Power. This teaching on metaphysics—from Jesus’ point of view or from the view of God as the only real cause in reality—includes how Jesus is using this power to not only give an inner ethical power, but also a missional kingdom advancing power, by the baptism of the Spirit. If the resurrection cannot be separated from metaphysics of Jesus sitting on the throne (Eph 1:19-23), and the throne doctrine cannot be separated from Jesus having all power and authority (Acts 2), and this power of Jesus cannot be separated from Jesus pouring out the baptism of Spirit according to the promise of the Father (Acts 2), and the doctrine of resurrection is part of the definition of the gospel (1 Corin.15), then the gospel includes Jesus on His throne ruling in power and pouring out the baptism of the Spirit.

Ethics, which is an application of this reality, is Jesus’ command for His followers to get answers to their prayers and be filled with His power. Our application of this is to obey it. Our responsibility and accountability is to obey our Master. Thus, our seeking to have answered prayers and filled with power is an application of the gospel, when considered in the category of ethics.  Thus, to make this clear, from a doctrine of epistemology and metaphysics Jesus’ resurrection to the throne and pouring out His power in the Spirit and causing His elect to have the faith to receive it, is the gospel, and not merely an effect.  However, viewed from ethics, which is God’s command and our response to this in obedience, can be view as an effect of the gospel.

Thus, the doctrine of eschatology is a narrowed doctrine of the last aspect the gospel. The gospel includes all the foundational doctrines such as the promises of God to Abraham (Gal.3.), about the sovereign deity of Jesus (John 1:1-4), His humbling, His obedience under the law, His substitutionary atonement for us, and His resurrection to the right hand of God, pouring out faith and baptism of the Spirit. Eschatology is merely a focus on the last metaphysics of the gospel. Remember, the doctrine of salvation is merely a subcategory of God’s absolute control over reality. God has controlled reality in all aspects of creation, the fall, the promises, the sending of His Son, His atonement, and now the Son’s enthronement with all authority and power given to Him. Eschatology is a focus on God’s control over reality in the present reality of His Son at His right hand.

When dealing with what man ought to do, we are asking about ethics. Christian ethics is about God’s commandments.

Luke records Jesus last command to the disciples as waiting in Jerusalem until they are baptized in the power of the Holy Spirit. They are already clean, and born again because Jesus says so. They are clean or born again because they believe in Him.

In the very beginning of John chapter 1 with the doctrine of the “LOGOS” John records, “In him was life, and the life was the light of humanity. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it,” (John 1:4-5 LEB). We are talking about an intellectual light, for the world did not “know” or that is intellectually perceive who He was. Their minds were dark in spiritual stupidity. Paul records it this way,

“This therefore I say and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the Gentiles walk: in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart, 19 who, becoming callous, gave themselves over to licentiousness, for the pursuit of all uncleanness in greediness,”
(Ephesians 4:17-19 LEB).

Although light can refer to ethical good, here John and Paul is using it for an intellectual understanding and belief. In fact Paul says in 1 Corinthians, that the Spirit alone knows God, and by us having the Spirit, we know God, and know Him in the same way God does, by His Spirit. Then He says, “We have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order that we may know the things freely given to us by God, things which we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned,” (1 Corin. 2:12-14 LEB).

The “things of the Spirit” is intellectually understanding and accepting knowledge about our standing in God and all the goodies given to us. The “things of the Spirit,” which the natural man cannot understand is about an intellectual understanding and assenting to the truth revealed in the gospel. In fact the famous dialog with Jesus and Nicodemus Jesus says only by being born again can you see/perceive the kingdom of God. “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless someone is born from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.”… Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless someone is born of water and spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God.  What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘It is necessary for you to be born from above,” (John 3:3-6 LEB). The word for “see” here can mean to perceive and understand, and in context of chapter 1, where John makes the context of Jesus being the intellectual light, then John means for us to take it this way. Jesus says it is “necessary.” In context of light, being intellectual perception, then it is obvious why it is  “necessary” to be born from above, because how can one believe in the gospel if they do not understand it? Spiritual life, is intellectual life. Being born again, must therefore, happen before repentance, because you cannot repent without understanding and accepting the truth. This is only done after being born from above. In fact, Jesus makes this connection to intellectual assenting to the truth as part of the Spirit’s work. “The Spirit is the one who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.  But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “Because of this I said to you that no one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by the Father,” (John 6:63-65 LEB). Jesus appeals to the overall sovereignty of God to work the work of a person being born again and having the intellectual light to understand and believe what Jesus is preaching; however, the immediate focus is on the Spirit that causes a person to see and believe what is being said.

Near the end Jesus says to the disciples, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, because it does not see him or know him. You know him, because he resides with you and will be in you, (John 14:17 LEB). Jesus affirms the Spirit is already in them. The Spirit that gives intellectual light to understand and believe the truth. They are born from above. John in 1 John restates this saying, “You are from God … They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world and the world listens to them.  We are from God. The one who knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit, (1 John 4:4-6 LEB). John says we are of God (i.e. born from above) and the proof is the intellectual ability to listen what God says, understand it, and believe it. Reprobates do the opposite.

Jesus also says in John 6:27-29 that the work and command of God is to believe in the One who He sent, which is of course is Jesus. Thus, there is some overlap of an ethical light. The Spirit births in a man, the light to understand reality, by causing him to believe in the truth of God. The Spirit gives a man the courage to accept the wonderful reality of all the good things God as freely given him in Christ. However, the act of believing in Jesus’ salvation is the “work” and “commandment” of God (Acts 17:30). Thus, believing is both an intellectual light and ethical light. Thus, being born from above is both a birth of intelligence and ethics in man. Before they were intellectually and ethically dark. They are a new reality of intellectual and moral power.

Despite Jesus in chapter 14 saying the Spirit already resides in them, says the Father will send the Spirit, in Jesus’ Name. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name—that one will teach you all things, and will remind you of everything that I said to you,” (John 14:26 LEB). John, also gives commentary about this other giving of the Spirit. “Now he said this concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. For the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified,” (John 7:39 LEB).

What is this? The Holy Spirit already birthed the disciples in intellectual and ethical power? Jesus says in John17, in His high priest prayer, that the disciples already believe He was sent by the Father, except Judas. Thus, they already possess the power to believe Jesus. What else is needed? Missional power is what is also needed.

And he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything that is written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending out what was promised by my Father upon you, but you stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high,” (Luke 24:44–49 LEB).

Jesus already opened their mind to understand the Scriptures, they are already born from above with intellectual and believing light. They were baptized for repentance of sins. What more is there? Jesus says to wait until you are clothed with power. Many people are lazy and do not see the big picture or do not care about what God loves and cares about. Jesus is zealous to advance His Kingdom and then hand it to His Father. His command about missional power is a command to accomplish this zeal and love. Christians expose their true or false professions, by jumping on board with Jesus’ command and zeal or disobeying it.

Luke, who is the same author of the book of Acts, writes a few verses later in Acts chapter 1, gives more defining to the term “clothed with power.”

He commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for what was promised by the Father, which you heard about from me. 5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now”…

they began asking him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 But he said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth,”
(Acts 1:1-8 LEB)

Luke teaches that clothed with power and “receiving the power of the Spirit,” is being baptized in the Spirit. Jesus in John 14 says, “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name.” Jesus further defines this at the end of Luke, “I am sending out what was promised by my Father upon you.” Peter teaches us in the Pentecost sermon, that this refers to the baptism of the Spirit. Peter says, when the Father seated Him at His right hand and faithfully gave Jesus the promise of the Spirit, then Jesus from the position of the Thone authority sees to it that He gives it to His disciples.  “Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he has poured out this that you see and hear.”

The important part here is how Jesus defines the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus refers to the baptism of the Spirit as missional power to advance the Kingdom. “ You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth.” Baptism of repentance and baptism for missional power are different categories. They are two baptisms. It is possible to receive both at the same time, but there is no direct teaching from Scripture that says it only or even mostly happens this way; nor do individual examples logically deduce such a doctrine.

Peter, under the Holy Spirit says this refers to baptism of the Spirit as a fulfillment of the Promise of Joel, which puts salvation for sin and them empowerment as part of the same promise. Peter says, “Repent and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (baptize in the Spirit for missional power). For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all those who are far away, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.”[1]

The two big takeaways here is that the Scripture interpreting itself, says Joe’s prophecy is for salvation and baptism of the Spirit for empowerment, and that they belong together for this age. How long is this age? Peter defines it by Jesus on the throne, and this is the other big takeaway, to “as many as God calls to Himself.” Thus, the age for Joel’s prophecy is in play as long as Jesus sits on the throne at God’s right hand, and God is still “calling people to Himself.” As long as Jesus is still at God’s right hand, and God is calling people to Himself, then Peter’s command to repent, and then be Baptist with power, still stands. It was not some crazy on TBN, this was the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter. Peter puts baptism of repentance and baptism of the Spirit together with “as many as God calls to Himself.” There is no logical law of logic or principle that can divide this. A person can do this, but since there is no logical way to do it, they can only do it by delusion and blaspheme.

Peter says to repent and be baptized for forgiveness. Thus, they must be born from above to do this, since only in spiritual intellectual life can one see and believe in the Kingdom. Next Peter says, and then you will be given the gift of the Spirit, which Jesus terms as “baptized in the Spirit,” for missional power. There is the baptism for intellectual and ethical life, and then Peter says, Jesus will give the baptism of the Spirit. These are two distinct and separate categories. To mix them up is both stupid and wicked. Jesus commands that we obey Him and receive both baptisms. Peter in the first apostolic sermon, commands all to be baptized for forgiveness, and then God will further baptize for power. The context is the audience asking about the baptism of the Spirit, which they are watching unfold in front of their eyes. Peter command is for there to be intellectual and ethical birth and baptism, and then the baptism of power will come.

Peter argues that this is promised in Joel, and his for all who call on God for salvation. Thus, it is not about apostles, or the age of the apostles, since both Joel and Peter put this baptism of power with the call for salvation together. Thus, after quoting Joel putting them together, and making Jesus on the throne as the foundation, Peter says, “promise is for you and for your children, and for all those who are far away, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.” Remember Jesus commanding the disciples to be baptized in the Spirit to have missional power to be witness to Jerusalem and surrounding area and to the ends of the earth? Peter, under the power of the Spirit, says this promise (of missional power) is for all those far way, as many as the Lord God calls to Himself.” “Calling to Himself,” is salvation. Thus, this is not intended for the apostles, but for all who God will call to Himself. All who God will call to Himself, God gives them the promise of Joel, through Jesus Christ in authority dispensing it from His throne. Thus, this is an order and command to only believe in Jesus for salvation, but to believe in Jesus to give missional power (and out of love to Him) advance our Savior’s kingdom.

Thus, Jesus is the main actor here, not Peter, nor “any age of man.” Jesus is still on the throne. The Father has not taken back His gift of the Spirit to the Son. Jesus is still faithful to give repentance and the Spirit for all those who call out in faith, which was promised in Joel. The promise of Joel for salvation and missional power, is in play as long as the absolute sovereign God “calls people to Himself.” This is radically God focused, not apostle focused. The reigning Jesus defines this age, not man.

Jesus gives intellectual and ethical power for faith and salvation, and then gives the baptism of the Spirit for missional power to advance the kingdom.

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who were listening to the message. 45 And those believers from the circumcision who had accompanied Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as we also did!” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days…

11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 Therefore if God gave them the same gift as also to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” 18 And when they heard these things, they became silent and praised God, saying, “Then God has granted the  repentance leading to life to the Gentiles also!”

Verse 10:48 says that Peter ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus. That is, they did water baptism, confessing they believed in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and of a new life. However, in 11:17 refers to the “gift” of receive the Spirit as “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Thus, before we get into specifics, the simple plain reading shows two distinct baptisms: one of repentance and the sign of water baptism, and then baptism of the Spirit for missional power. I say mission power, because Luke in chapter, through Jesus Christ defines this second baptism in this way, and thus, we will do the same.

This bears repeating. You cannot have biblical interpretation principles and only apply them to your opponent, and not apply them to yourself. Jesus and Luke’s first mention of the gift of the Spirit is defined as a second “baptism of the Spirit” specifically focused on “missional power,” not forgiveness or something else.

Peter says God gave them the “gift of the Holy Spirit.”  However, Peter affirms God already “baptized” them. They have already been baptized. But Peter still orders them to be baptized with water later. Thus, Peter affirms two baptisms. Why? Because the first baptism is the category of intellectual and ethical life. The second baptism is for missional power. Because the first baptism of new life is an intellectual and ethical power, it thus gives the ethical power to obey Jesus command to receive power for missions. Being born again, gives ethical life to respond to Peter’s order to not only repent but receive the baptism of the Spirit for power. The reason many do not receive the baptism of the Spirit is because the are still born from below. They do not have the intelligence and power of character to accept and receive the gift of missional power. God did not sovereignly “call them to Himself.”

However, as seen in Acts 19, Paul found “some who believed” that had not yet received the baptism of missional power. Therefore, it is possible to have the first baptism without the other. However, Luke records that Paul is quick to give them not only better explained baptism of repentance but also baptism of the Spirit. In fact, it is because they are already born from above, that they proved it by so quickly receiving the further teaching Paul gave them. They had the intellectual and ethical power to perceive and accept the further teaching Paul gave. They still did not have the missional power, thus, Paul fixed this with laying hands on them. Because they were truly born again, they not only obeyed by receiving the further teaching on repentance from Jesus, but also had the power to obey Jesus and receive His gift of the Spirit.

Some morons complain, “well if you make baptism of the Spirit a separate baptism like Peter and Jesus and Paul did, then you will make those who have not experienced the baptism of the Spirit to be second class citizens.” Well, of course the Scripture would make them second class, but not for the specific reason you might think. They would be second class in the same since the man in Corinthians made himself a second-class Christian by sleeping with his step-mother. The man was willfully disobedient, and unrepentant. Paul, handed him over to Satan, so that in the destruction of the flesh, he will be saved. In his excommunication, he really was a second-class Christian, even in the literal sense. However, we know the story. The man repented. He was then brought back as a true bother in Christ.

This is the same issue with baptism of the Spirit. When Paul found the believers who were not baptized in the Spirit, he did not excommunicate them or say anything harsh. He loved them by preaching a fuller gospel message to them. They did not hesitate to obey and receive what Jesus commanded. What would happened if they said, “we do not believe Jesus has ordered us to receive the baptism of the Spirit for missional power; the command is only for you apostles”? What if they kept refusing and started to teach there is no baptism of the Spirit for missional power after one has confessed repentance in baptism of water? Would Paul still have called them believers after that, or called them false teachers? I will not answer that for you. No, being ignorant of the baptism of the Spirit, or being hindered to receive it because false teachers, does not make one a second-class Christian (it would leave you less powerful to advance Jesus’ Kingdom); however, unbelief and refusal to even try to obey Jesus would make you one, if not much worse. Excommunication should be given to all who disobey this order and hinder others in their false doctrine; all believing Christians ought to hand these over to Satan, and perhaps God might sovereignly grant them repentance while their flesh is destroyed.

19:1 And it happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the inland regions and came to Ephesus and found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “But we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit!” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into the baptism of John.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the one who was to come after him—that is, in Jesus.” 5 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.

Luke records that these people, although limited in their understanding of the gospel, are “disciples.” Paul in fact presupposed they are believers saying, “when you believed?” Thus, they are referred to as disciples and believers by Paul and Luke, despite only having known John’s teaching and baptism of repentance. After teaching, Paul led them to be water baptized again in the name of “Jesus.” After this Luke records, “the Holy Spirit came upon them,” which Luke first mentions in chapter 1 as “baptized with the Spirit.” They are already saved. They are already born from above with the intellectual and ethical power to be “believers” and followers. With faith in Jesus’ gospel and being baptized in water to show their faith in Him, they then received the baptism of the Spirit, for missional power. The Kingdom advances. This is exactly what Peter preached in Acts 2. Repent and be baptized in water, and then you will receive the baptism of the Spirit for power. Thus, Paul shows there are two baptisms along with Peter.

Also, it is worth noting that “speaking in tongues” is mentioned regularly, when people are “baptized in the Spirit.” At the very least, the doctrine from this alone, without bringing in others, is that speaking in tongues is a regular power that the Spirit works in those He is baptizing with His power.[2]

From this alone we realize that Jesus advances the Kingdom not only by intellectual and ethical power, but also miraculous power. Speaking in other tongues is a regular sign when receiving Zeus’ thunder bolt. When there is speaking in tongues, the Kingdom advances. In fact, the speaking in tongues is what brought all the questions, that lead Peter to preach the sermon in which three thousand souls were conveyed form darkness to light. The Lion advances.

[1] () added by author.

[2] I believe the argument can be strongly made that it is almost always manifested when there is baptism of the Spirit (if no always), but this is only a basic systematic theology book. Consider the principle of first mentions. Speaking tongues is mentioned in the first teaching on the subject, and then regularly mentioned after to continue to reinforce this.

Good Tree – Good Fruit, Good Fruit – Good Tree

[This is a cannibalized section from the eschatology section from my systematic theology book, about the importance of the baptism of the spirit.]

“You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?
17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit,”
(Matt. 7-16-18 LSB).

“But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him either in this age or in the coming one!
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit is good, or make the tree bad and its fruit is bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.
34 Offspring of vipers! How are you able to say good things when you[q] are evil,”
(Matt 12:32-34 LEB).

“For there is no good tree that produces bad fruit, nor on the other hand a bad tree that produces good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn plants, nor are grapes harvested from thorn bushes. 45 The good person out of the good treasury of his heart brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks,” (Luke 6:43-45 LEB).

Jesus puts a focus on bad words and bad doctrine in how He defines bad fruit, because the context is the Jewish leaders committing the blaspheme of the Holy Spirit with a false doctrine that affirmed the works of the Spirit come from Satan. In Matthew 7 this is said in context of obeying God’s law and Jesus showing the true standard God commands, and thus, this is a universal teaching on all obedience and disobedience to God’s commandments. So, although bad fruit is a universal category for all disobedience, Jesus does put a stronger focus on disobedience with affirming false doctrine. Jesus says, “how can you SAY good things, when you are evil.” This statement contradicts Jesus’ truth claims about reality; thus, they cannot say good things, because they are evil, and they are evil and so they say evil things.

In Matthew 7:17-18 Jesus makes 4 truth claims. We will put them from A to D. Since Jesus intends for us to add ourselves or someone else to this, and thus we have 3 terms and a deductive application. We will use hypothetical syllogisms for simplicity with modus tollens, rather than categorical syllogisms and contrapositions, which can be a little more difficult (for understanding why and how) for those who have not studied logic. Example, the contraposition for, “all [good trees] are [good fruit bearers],” in the defined context of Jesus’ truth claims[1], would be “all [bad fruit bearers] are [bad trees].” In natural deduction this rule is transposition or contraposition.[2]

However, beyond this the scripture plainly says in 1 John 3:7, “he one who does what is right is righteous.” Thus, if good fruit, then good tree.

A, If good tree, then good fruit.
B, If bad tree, then bad fruit.
C, If good tree, then no bad fruit.
D, If bad tree, then no good fruit.

Jesus is repeating Himself in premise C and D, because their logical conclusions in Modus Tollens are the same for A and B.

In essence, with premise A and B, with the uses of Modus ponens and Modus tollens, we have 4 deductive conclusion or outputs.

Jesus defines the context in a way that these are opposites, and that there is no other options. When it comes to person and the law of God, there is obedience or disobedience; there is no other option. When it comes to a person and being born again in spiritual life or under spiritual death, there is no other options. Therefore, the negation will be said as “bad fruit or tree,” or “good fruit or tree,” since in context this is what the negation is.

If we only had premise “A” and we did a Modus ponens and tollens (or in categorical contraposition), then we can say “because bad fruit, thus bad tree,” but not, “because good fruit thus, good trees.” However, with premise B, and then with Jesus’ further restating this doctrine in premise C and D, we have the latter conclusion. Also, C and D close off any overlap for the categories of obedience (good fruit) and disobedience (bad fruit) for humans.

Syllogism A.

A.1.(P) If good tree, (Q) then good fruit.
A.2. (P). Good tree
A.3. Thus, (Q) good fruit

Then the Modus Tollens, Ab.

Ab.1. (P) If good tree, (Q) then good fruit.
Ab.2. ~(Q) bad fruit.
Ab.3. Thus, ~(P) bad tree.

Syllogism B.

B.1. (P) If bad tree, (P) then bad fruit.
B.2. (P). Bad Tree.
B.3. Thus, (Q) bad fruit.

Then the Modus Tollens, Bb.

Bb.1. (P) If bad tree, (P) then bad fruit.
Bb.2. ~(Q) Good fruit.
Bb.3.  Thus ~(P) Good tree.

When Jesus says, “you will know them by their fruit,” it is being used as a proof. Jesus is saying, “x” proves that there is “y.” By using the Modus tollens we see bad fruit does prove bad tree, and good fruit proves a good tree. This can sometimes be seen with past, present and future tense verbs. As a category statement, “A good tree DOES or WILL produce good fruit.” Using the logic of double negative in reverse order, “if you produce bad fruit, then you have been or are a bad tree.”

The positive statements are positive statements about “metaphysics.” They are what God has created and sovereignly caused. The modus tollens, are being used as a way for us to discover and “prove” what metaphysics God as put us into, through our obedience or disobedience.

These statements of Jesus are universal; they are all encompassing statements about all good works in obedience and all bad works in disobedience. Jesus takes a few words from the Jewish leaders and says, “this specific bad fruit of false doctrine you said, is proof you are a bad tree.” Thus, applying this knowledge in deduction, any biblical premise that narrowly speaks of one type of bad or good fruit, even if only mentioned in one premise, applies to all four possible combinations shown. Whether it is John in “1st John,” talking about the good or bad fruit of loving God or loving your brother, it applies to all 4 combinations. “The one who hates his brother is in the darkness,” (1 John 2:11 LEB).

The same with Jesus saying,

“7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit, and prove to be my disciples… 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and your fruit should remain, in order that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. 17 These things I command you.”[3]

Vincent Cheung has a great essay on this called, “Predestination and Miracles.”

God has chosen us, and predestined us. Predestined for what? There was more to what Jesus said: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” God predestined us to bear fruit. What is this fruit? Christian teaching often assumes that fruit refers to spiritual and ethical effects such as improvements in character, works of charity, and also works of ministry, such as saving sinners and building churches. This is not entirely wrong, but the biblical idea of fruit includes much more, and Jesus clearly had other things in mind when he made the statement.

Even in the same verse, we can see that Jesus had in mind not only works of preaching and charity, because he said his followers would produce fruit and that “the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” Gospel life and ministry is characterized by answers to prayers. What kinds of prayers? Wait, this is weaker than the way Jesus said it. The doctrine of prayer in historic unbelief is that “God will answer your prayers if it is his will (regardless of what he promised). Or, you can say that he always answers your prayers — sometimes he says yes, sometimes no, sometimes maybe, sometimes later. Or, when you ask for egg, he will give you a scorpion, so that when you ask for spiritual growth, he will give you cancer to teach you a lesson.” Among us, we have never accepted this view of prayer. We recognize it as satanic deception. But Jesus did not even say, “God will answer your prayers” or “God will always answer your prayers.” He said, “God will give you whatever you ask.” This is how God wants us to think about our relationship with him. This is how he wants us to think about discipleship. This is how he wants us to think about faith and prayer. God will give me whatever I ask when I approach him in the name of Jesus. No hiding behind a thousand qualifications. No excuses for me or for him.

God will give me whatever I ask. I will have whatever I ask. What I ask, I get. And I am predestined for this. So I am chosen to get whatever I ask. I am predestined to get whatever I ask. It is my foreordained destiny to receive whatever I ask God in the name of Jesus. If you have never heard this, then you have never heard the Bible’s doctrine of predestination, you have never heard the Bible’s doctrine of prayer, you have never heard the Bible’s doctrine of the name of Jesus, and you have never heard the Bible’s doctrine of discipleship. Just several verses earlier, Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (15:7-8). Getting whatever we ask from God is intertwined throughout his discourse with the notions of bearing fruit, being his disciples, and loving one another. Thus getting whatever we ask from God is as pervasive as the gospel itself. It cannot be taken out and thrown away without tearing apart the entire gospel, and thus also our salvation. Here bearing fruit is almost the same thing as getting whatever we ask from God, and by getting what we ask from God, we show ourselves to be true disciples of Christ.[4]

The metaphysics that God sovereignly causes, is that a disciple (good tree), produces the (good fruit) of asking and receiving what they ask for.

Jesus defines good fruit as obeying His commandments. His command here, is to disciples (not merely apostles) to pray and get what you pray for. You need to think about that. It is a command from your God; it is not a mere suggestion or self-help tip. Jesus has already defined good and bad people by obedience and disobedience with 4 possible combinations, and thus, the same applies here. Bad fruit is praying and not receiving what you pray for. Thus, if you pray and do not receive because you lack faith, you are producing bad fruit. A continued life of this bad fruit is proof you are not His good disciple. A continued life of this bad fruit is proof Jesus did not predestine or appoint you to bear good fruit. It proves you were chosen by God to be a reprobate.

The apostles said, “then God has granted them repentance to life.” God’s sovereign work caused and predestined these with spiritual life (born from above) and reconciled them to Him, by repentance (faith). It is a statement of metaphysics; they are saved; they live in Spiritual life now; they live reconciled to God. When applied for good or bad fruit, it is the same as has been demonstrated, it is a test of proof.

The same is for baptism of the Spirit. If baptism of the Spirit (good fruit), then proof of the metaphysics that you are did repent and are in the category of spiritual “life” and “saved,” (good tree).  Bad fruit is not being baptized in the Spirit. A continued rebellion and disobedience in not being baptized in the Spirit is proof of reprobation, especially in context of doctrine. If you continue in affirming the false doctrines that God does not command you to love your brother, and that Jesus did not teach that truth does set you free, and Jesus did not teach that you get what you ask for in faith, and that God does not command you to be baptism in the Spirit, then you give strong proof you are a reprobate. If continued affirmation of false doctrine on this doctrine is not repented of, then stronger proof of God’s predestination of your reprobation. The same for hating your brother, (etc.). Hebrews 12 affirms that Christians have besetting sin. “let us lay aside the sins that easily entangle us.” It does happen. But the same chapter says to look to Jesus who is the author and “perfecter” of our faith. We are told to get free. We are told Jesus is able to heal dislocated shoulders. The great danger is not repenting and being arrogant. To be arrogant and unrepentance in continued false doctrine is a great, if not the greatest danger of proof for reprobation. Jesus was very compassionate with those who were at least trying to repent and follow, “lord help my unbelief.” Paul, after correcting the Corinthians for many sinful actions, kept encouraging them to repent and get better. At the end of the letter, he says to double check and make sure your election is sure. If no repentance of your bad fruit, then you give proof of reprobation.  For the false teachers that Paul dealt with, he didn’t record that even prayed for God to save them, but says regarding the coppersmith that God would “repay him” for the harm of the false doctrine and unbelief he was spreading.  Likewise Paul says in Philippians 4 the women and Clement’s names are in the “book of life (v.3),” because of their labor in the gospel. That is, Paul says their election of being saints is certain, because of their good fruit, and not because Paul received a divine revelation about them. We can do the same. Jude, regarding the false teachers, says they are reprobates destined for hell with the demons. However, regarding the Corinthians who were not affirming false doctrines as false teachers, but sinning in sins of passion, Paul corrected them and told them that “temples of God” do not behave that way.

We will now examine these arguments by putting them into syllogism A and B from above, since these two alone will output all the combinations we need.

Love and hating your brother.

Syllogism A.

A.1.(P) If born from above, (Q) then love for your brother.
A.2. (P). Born from above.
A.3. Thus, (Q) Love for your brother.

Then the Modus Tollens, Ab.

Ab.1. (P) If born from above, (Q) then love for your brother.
Ab.2. ~(Q) hates your brother.
Ab.3. Thus, ~(P) proof of being born from below.

Syllogism B.

B.1. (P) If born from below, (P) then hates your brother.
B.2. (P). Born from below.
B.3. Thus, (Q) hates your brother.

Then the Modus Tollens, Bb.

Bb.1. (P) If born from below, (P) then hates your brother.
Bb.2. ~(Q) loves your brother.
Bb.3.  Thus ~(P) proof of being born from above.

Ask and get what You pray for.

Syllogism A.

A.1.(P) If good disciple, (Q) then ask and get what you ask for.
A.2. (P). Good disciple.
A.3. Thus, (Q) ask and get what you ask for.

Then the Modus Tollens, Ab.

Ab.1. (P) If good disciple, (Q) then ask and get what you ask for.
Ab.2. ~(Q) ask and not get what you ask for.
Ab.3. Thus, ~(P) proof of bad disciple.

Syllogism B.

B.1. (P) If bad disciple, (P) then ask and not get what you ask for.
B.2. (P). Bad disciple.
B.3. Thus, (Q) ask and not get what you ask for.

Then the Modus Tollens, Bb.

Bb.1. (P) If bad disciple, (P) then ask and not get what you ask for.
Bb.2. ~(Q) ask and get what you ask for.
Bb.3.  Thus ~(P) proof of good disciple.

Baptism of the Spirit.

Peter and the apostles defined the “good tree” as repentance to be “saved,” and repentance of “life.” Thus the metaphysical category is life and saved. We will call this saved and unsaved.

Syllogism A.

A.1.(P) If saved, (Q) then baptism of Spirit.
A.2. (P) saved.
A.3. Thus, (Q) baptism of the Spirit.

Then the Modus Tollens, Ab.

Ab.1. (P) If saved, (Q) then baptism of the Spirit.
Ab.2. ~(Q) no baptism in the Spirit.
Ab.3. Thus, ~(P) no proof of being saved.

Syllogism B.

B.1. (P) If unsaved, (P) then no baptism of the Spirit.
B.2. (P) unsaved.
B.3. Thus, (Q) no baptism of the Spirit.

Then the Modus Tollens, Bb.

Bb.1. (P) If unsaved, (P) then no baptism of the Spirit.
Bb.2. ~(Q) baptism of Spirit.
Bb.3.  Thus ~(P) thus proof for being saved.

______________ENDNOTES_______________

[1] That is, without context, as you might find in a logic textbook, you would need to say, “all [non-good fruit bearers] are [non-good trees].” However, unlike a logic book, that mostly gives the absolute minimum context of something, in Christianity we have a substantial context of knowledge about the world. We know exactly what Jesus means by “non-good trees” for humans commanded to obey His words, they are “bad trees.”

[2] I have seen some morons in modern logic want to deny the “law of excluded middle,” which is what makes this reverse double negative logic work. Aside from all rules showing this to be valid, included truth tables, it is interesting that those denying this are liberal theologians and atheist and empiricists who do not have an epistemology that is able give them truth in the first place. With a necessary epistemology that gives substantial knowledge about the world, with clearly defined categories, then the law of excluded middle is valid, strong and absolute. But beside all this, Jesus and the Bible assumes the law of excluded middle. Do not let those who do not have truth to begin with, be your teachers. Leave them alone to wonder in their own delusions.

[3]  Emphasis by author.

[4] Vincent Cheung. Predestination and Miracles. From the ebook, TRACE. 2018. Pg. 73-74

The Incorruptible Seed

1 Peter 1:3–5 (NKJV)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

1 Peter 1:23 (NKJV)
“ [You have] been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.”

In our struggle with sin, people can sometimes hesitate over the doctrine of besetting sins. Does not 1 John say if you practice sin you are not born of God’s Spirit? But then in Hebrews it acknowledges that we have besetting sins and encourages us to get victory over them by looking to Jesus who is the perfecter of our faith.

As in all things God is the foundation in theology. God is the foundation in epistemology; He is the foundation for all metaphysics, not man. Salvation, and by extension sanctification is an subcategory of metaphysics and ontology. The doctrine of Salvation describes how God is using His absolute power and control toward the two groups of people in the earth, which are the Elect and reprobate. The foundational issue about a besetting sin and the outcome is not the person, but God. The deciding factor rests on whether God has used His power to give new-birth through the Holy Spirit. If so, then a besetting is an annoyance, whether short or long, that is overcome. If not, the besetting sin will overcome the person.

This is foundation. The consequence is seen in how a person deals with it in their faith or lack thereof.

1 John 5:16-17 LEB
If anyone should see his brother sinning a sin not leading to death, he should ask, and he will grant life to him, to those who sin not leading to death. (There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should ask about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.)

Hebrews 10:35,36,39 LEB
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has great reward.  For you have need of endurance, in order that after you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
But we are not among those who shrink back to destruction, but among those who have faith to the preservation of our souls.

Hebrews 12:1,12-13
Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, putting aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, let us run with patient endurance the race that has been set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of faith….

….Therefore strengthen your slackened hands and your weakened knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame will not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

The born-again Christian does not stop enduring; they do not shrink back. Again, the foundation is that God has recreated a Christian with HIS very own Spirit to empower them. Peter calls this the “incorruptible seed.” Remember Jesus’ prayer in John 17? He prays that we are made “one with Him” and “Him in us”! Why did Paul accuse Peter making Jesus a minister of sin, if the law justifies? IF what the gospel says is true, then consequences are real not imaginary. If I was remade into a cloud, then I would float. This is so simple a child can grasp it. If God says His Spirit is an unstoppable force that is part of the very DNA, as an inseparable part of the Christian soul, and an incorruptible seed, then IF you become corrupted, it infers God would be corruptible. The change from sinner and spiritual-death, to being recreated in the Spirit is a radical new creation. It is as if God made sons of Abraham from stones, no, even greater.

In Hebrews 12 verse 1, it says we have sins we repeatedly struggle with. Later in verse 12-13 is says to heal our broken hands. This is a spiritual metaphor. You are a new Spiritual creation, with an incorruptible seed. For a true Christian a besetting sin, is not a corruption of the incorruptible spiritual man, but a brokenness of his spiritual hand or foot. It is like having a dislocated hand, the rest of my body is fine. God is able to heal both physical and spiritual brokenness. The encouraging thing is that the passage teaches us, we can unshackle ourselves form the sin that so easily entangles us. The curial points to remember are two things. We have the power to do this, in the same sense as Jesus often says, “Your faith has healed you.” Or in the sense when James says that by resisting the devil, “YOU” make him flee from you. Our responsibility is our faith. Now, this brings us to the other crucial aspect, which has already been addressed, knowing God is the foundation for this endurance and victory. We are told to keep our eyes on Jesus, who is the perfecter of our faith. We just discussed our faith is our part, and then preacher says, you strengthen this, not by focusing on yourself, but on Jesus who will help your faith. That is, for every thought of your sin, you should have 10 thoughts of Jesus’ power, promise, love and faithfulness to help today, in the land of the living. You focus is on how pathetic Satan attempt is destroy us. No matter how hard the devil tries, he cannot win. We do. We are the overcomers in Christ our lord. The new testament writers often say something to the effect, “God is able, He will do it.” God will keep you. He will empower you. He will help you. He will deliver you. NOT YOU do it. God will do it, because He is able.

And so, there is a repeating sin that does lead to death, and one the does not. Sometimes, it is hard to tell the difference. Jude referring to this says, grab (like you do, by grabbing an animal by their neck) and toss them over the finish line.  For those born-again, they might lose out on some extra rewards in heaven, but they will not be overcome. The reprobate, even the smallest besetting will always spell out their doom. The weeds of life, make God’s truth stop growing, and makes their little besetting sin become a redwood giant.

Do not judge one part of your Christian life (a besetting sin) and forget whole of your Christianity that is growing and maturing. Like with the sower, the weeds of life choke out the seed planted. What this means is two things: not only are the weeds growing, but God’s seed “stops.” This stopping of God’s seed growing, is the most crucial part here. Besetting sins for the Christian is having a few weeds, but God’s seed is still growing and still larger. The reprobate, their weeds are many, and God’s seed is small, and finally stops growing.

Like with the parable of the sower, only the seed dropped on the good ground (i.e. born-again) produced a harvest. I will not deal with the aspect that we can know our election is sure here, but know that many times the New Testament writes spoke of the certainty of people’s election. This confidence was not based on visions from heaven, but on evidence based on the scripture; evidence we have today.  For those who know they are saved, know God has already won. You are already incorruptible. With besetting sins, the devil will chain your leg, and then whisper in your ear, “Ha., look! You are now corrupted.”  We are aware of his lies. We are those who fight. We are those who do not stop repenting and fighting. We do not shrink back. We are those who break our spiritual shackles. We are those who triumph over the world. We are those who resist and make the devil flee and screech.

God does not know how to lose. He wins and wins. Satan, loses and loses. Satan does not know how to win. The born-again Christian has been recreated with God in them, and part of their DNA. They also, do not know how to lose. They overcome the world. Sometimes the battle is long and sometimes the devil can deceive and cause years of stunted growth. Yet, the Christian will overcome. No weapon formed against them will prosper. Their faith is unstoppable. Their faith is as unstoppable as the one who empowers their faith, God. God is their foundation. And wow, what a foundation it is!

The Love and Hate of God:

One might be prone to ask, why did you not start with “creation” in a section about God’s sovereignty over all reality. God’s power/ability is first, an intellectual ability. Creation or the material comes later as a consequence. Not only does creation come later, but in the ordering of reality, the decree of creation comes last in God’s ordered decisions. The intellectual infinite power of God is seen in His own mastery of His mind and in the relationship of the Trinity.

The supremacy of creation is Jesus Christ, as Paul says in Colossians 1. But right beneath, even included with Jesus as part of His body, are the elect sons of God. In this since, the world was made for man. The sabbath was made for man. This is why Paul says that “all things are yours,” to the elect Corinthians. It is also why Paul says that corrupted creation will be liberated into the valuable liberty of the sons of God, rather than just saying “God.”

As will be explained more in the section on the decrees, this means the elect would be the second decree for reality. The reprobate and then all other created things come after and to support these first 2 decrees. This shows that the love and hatred of God did not come after God created but was before. It was at the very beginning of His decrees.

The LOVE of God is a top-level order or policy,
and thus, it effects the rest of the decrees that follow.

Because God’s ordering of the decrees has a rule or policy of “LOVE” at the top level, it is important to talk about what the love and hatred of God is, before moving to other aspects of how God “uses” His sovereign power.

“[Love and hate] are policies of [God’s] thought and action. Since God is impassable, and his mind cannot be disturbed, it means that divine love is not a disturbance of the mind, but an intellectual disposition of favor and mercy. And hate is a disposition of disfavor and judgment.”[1]

Since God love’s Himself the most, His policy of thought favors Him above all others. He has exalted His Word and Name above all creation, not someone else’s. “For You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word and You have magnified Your word above all Your name,” (Psalm 138:2 AMP). “As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord,”” ( 2 Corin.10:17 NLT). “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations,” (Ezekiel 36:22 NLT).

In other words, I do not save you because I value you, but because I value my own Name above all things. The crucial point that saves the elect is that God has grafted them into His Name, by making them joint-heirs with Christ, by making them His very righteousness. God who knows in perfection how infinitely awesome He is, has rightly made a policy of thought the values Himself above all others. This is similar to a broad definition for what “righteousness” means, which is to “think and act that values God above all others.” The commands and precepts of God to man, define how man is to accomplish this.

The love and hatred of God to man is first an intellectual policy of thought about this group and the other group, it is not emotional. In Christ, God took His intellectual policy of thought of love to His elect and publicly revealed it in a blood oath contract, in the New Covenant.

God’s love as “a policy of thought and action,” to act “favorably to this group,” is similar to a contract, but with oneself, rather than between two parties.  Vincent Cheung describes God’s “Contract”[2] in the N.T. as having the quality that the two groups know how the other will always act under the stipulated conditions. Earlier Vincent said, “God’s mind is so integrated that He only does what He wills,” because of His lack of emotions and perfect knowledge and mastery of His Mind.  In this light, God’s contract with the elect is the public expression/revelation of His “eternal policy of thought about them.”  The new contract is a stipulated policy of thought and action to this group, that is made public. God is letting the elect know that He only does what He wills, and the eternal/immutable policy for the elect, has been revealed in the New Contract.  In the eternal Mind of God it is a “policy of thought and action,” in the public revelation it is a “contract of promise,” made in the blood oath of Jesus’ atonement.

One way to view this, would be to consider me as a person who extraordinarily likes chocolate. Chocolate is my favorite by a tremendous amount. Thus, every time there is a choice given me about what candy, or desert, I always, and I mean always, chose my favorite, which is chocolate. God is immutable, so that even with a chocolate lover like myself, there is always the chance I could change, even if slight, but not God.  God does not experience fluctuations. Thus, He is not changed by emotions. God only does what He wills to do. He has willed to love the Elect. He has willed to make you in Christ, His favorite. Every time there is a choice between the elect, reprobate, angels, or other created things, He always picks His favorite to favor them, which is you.

The application for this doctrine is for Elect to gain inner power and ability by renewing their mind on how great God’s love is to them.

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT)

Paul says you grow stronger by understanding and having faith in God’s limitless love for you.

As in most things a “policy” might have a highest or lowest threshold that triggers the policy. Like a computer program, you might have thresholds that trigger a particular program to execute. However, the Scripture defines God’s policy of thought and action of favor for His elect as not having something, to small or to high that would escape His favor from being triggered and applied.

The death of God’s own Son, did not negate God’s policy of thought and action to give favor to His elect, to trigger and engage.

 “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners,” (Romans 5:8 NLT).

Paul argues from this that if God’s policy of favor triggers for such a huge thing, then how much more for the little things.

“Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else,” (Romans 8:32 NLT)”

Jesus also affirms this truth.

Thus, even the smallest things, like counting the your hairs, or giving you your daily bread, is not too small to trigger God’s policy of thought and action of favor to His elect.

What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin[k]? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows,” Math 10:30-31)

Thus, no matter what trouble of life today you find yourself in, if you cry out in faith to God, it triggers God’s policy of thought and action of favor. You realize you do not deserve such love? Great! It is unmerited. Your faith qualifies you. Your faith gives you direct access to heaven, to trigger God’s favor for you.

This comment about God’s grace, or spelled out in a phrase “unmerited favor,” is another point to see how God’s policy/disposition of favor triggered, even when God needed to give us this favor without us working or earning it. Also, we talked about God’s love policy triggering at the highest and lowest thresholds, however, Paul says something a little different when He says in Ephesians 1:6. Paul say the Father has put us into His “beloved,” or His beloved son. This is like saying, “highly loved.” The Father loves His only begotten Son, with the highest type of favor, or His greatest favorite. This was like the example of me saying chocolate was by far my greatest favorite.

This gives us three ways to define God’s love for us, so that we know how awesome it is.  God’s love is toward us:

First, God’s favor is an immutable thought policy; the threshold of this favof triggers at the lowest thing, and it triggers the greatest thing.

Secondly, this favor is an unmerited favor (grace).

And lastly, when this loyal favor triggers, the amount of favor that it triggers is not small or even medium, but a super abundant favor; yes, as much as God favor triggers when considering His Beloved Son. We have been part of His body. We are His righteousness. We are co-heirs with Him. We are made One with Him, and Jesus One with us (John 17). In fact, we are even called, “Christ-ians.”

A quick note about logic. The positive always comes first, not the negative. In logic this is said as, a negation; and this can only happen if there is a positive first. Take for example justice and injustice. Injustice has no intellectual understanding without the positive understanding of Justice first. Something can only be negated, or a negative form given, if the positive is first. Therefore James says that mercy triumphs over judgment. God’s love is first, not hatred. God has always loved Himself, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit for all eternity. There was no hatred there. The definition is all positive. A negation is not intellectual without knowing what it is negating. You must love first, then the negation, which is hate.

This will give some broad insight why the “end” or original intention of God’s decrees is positive, not negative. Love (to Jesus and the elect) is a higher top level decree compared to hate, (to the reprobate),( Romans 9:21-23).

This will also give us a quick/broad scope critique against such worldviews, where hating is the end result, or a higher top level ontology over love, (a world where hateful demons are hurting and hating everything). When one begins to examine how a situation ended up like that, it will be seen as saying a negation came first. However, saying the negation came first, is logically and metaphysically impossible. Its like saying “blue fives are faster than clouds predicates swimming panda seven’s.” Just because you can say something with your physical mouth, does not make it true, or intellectual. A story in anime or TV that makes such a premise is talking about something that is delusional and impossible.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?” Matthew 5:43-46.

But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” Luke 6:35

A quick note about other uses of the word “love” in the bible. Jesus says to “love” your neighbor and even your enemy, by doing them “good and blessing” them. Jesus is obviously not talking about the type of eternal, electing and saving love that is given to the Elect. Only God can do that. The love in this context is a pragmatic, practical or natural benevolence. God’s eternal, electing, and saving love is the fuller definition and scope for what love means. This definition of love in our present passages is about a narrow use of this bigger love. It is a smaller subset definition of what love is. It is about practical actions to another person that helps them, and blesses them with good things. In essence it is referring to the definition of good and evil, when it is about harm or blessing a person.

God is the foundation for defining value and definitions, not something else. If God wants to have a fuller definition of what love is within the Trinity, and extended to the Elect, and another narrower use of it, then that is His choice. He is the foundation, and there is no other beside Him. This narrow use of love is also more focused on the “here and now.” The fuller definition of love is about past, present and future; it is eternal love. The context will determine which definition of love we are talking about.

Jesus says to love, and then defines it as “good,” “blessing,” and “kindness.” This is how Jesus defines a narrow love given here and now to people. God then says, He shows this SAME TYPE of love, when He is “good” and “kind” to evil reprobates, by giving them rain, sunlight and many natural goodies. Jesus again reaffirms this love by the story of the good Samaritan. The question is what does it mean to “love” your neighbor. The Samaritan helps and gives blessings/gifts, such as paying for the medical and housing of the injured man. Jesus defines this as “love.” When God sends rain to the crops of a reprobate, and this rain helps the parched crops so that they produce, God helped and gave a gift/blessing by paying for the producing of the reprobate’s crops. God loved them. And yet, they were unthankful for it. God loved Judas, by washing his feet. Think about God Himself, washing your feet. His hands touching your feet and cleaning the dirt off. It was not an illusion. Jesus loved Judas, and Judas repaid that love with hate. After this example, Jesus again says, for the disciples to “love” each other, by the example He gave them.  The gospel says that Jesus “loved” the rich young ruler by telling an infallible truth concerning how the man can truly find salvation. Many businesspeople pay high dollar to receive special insight into the business world. Jesus gave this man insight, that is true and powerful. Jesus gave it free of charge. It was love and kindness. The young ruler returned this love, by rejecting it.

 

God’s HATRED is the reverse, it is a policy of thought to ALWAYS act in an unfavorable way, particularly in regards to eternity. It is an eternal hate. This love and hatred is always God’s policy to these groups. Take for example when Paul says in Romans 8 “He works all things for our good.” God plans for a big good, and so He gives temporary evil for the Elect to overcome, and then by this receive this big good. This can be seen in the story of Joseph. The same is for those who He hates. “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,” (Matthew 5:45 NIV). Jesus is referring to good benefits in the common sense, in basic pragmatic things like rain (etc.) and not spiritual or an intelligent working of all things for their good. And so, even when God is presently giving reprobates (love) natural blessings like rain or other circumstances, God is working out that they be fattened for the day of slaughter (Psalm 73).[3]

God is working all things for their destruction and suffering.  Their receiving the common pragmatic good of God, is God’s policy of thought of loathing to set them up for death. Their receiving of God’s pragmatic, common love, is designed to work all things for their bad and destruction. It is the reverse for the Elect children of God. God defines this pragmatic kindness as “love,” thus, their rejection of it, leads to their eternal damnation and hate. Even though this is the narrower definition of love, because God defines it as love, it is real and not imaginary. The eternal definition of love does not negate this presently applied pragmatic love; rather, it establishes it. Presently applied love is a subset or subcategory from the parent of eternal love. The reprobates receive this temporary love, use it, benefit from it, and then they discard it, ignoring the God who gave it to them. Paul says in Romans 2 that the goodness and kindness of God, (Jesus defines this as love) should lead you to repentance. The reprobates in addition to ignoring giving thanks to God for His love, ignore His command to repent and be blessed.

The gospel message, because it is God’s truth is valuable and good to pursue in and of itself. It is wrong to say, “we only study God’s Word to be better people.” This blasphemy tramples on God’s Word as if it does not have infinite intrinsic worth. God and the Bible are interchangeable. To diminish the Word, in any way, is to diminish God. To study the Bible is an infinitely valuable pursuit, in and of itself. Even though reprobates reject the gospel message, to give them God’s Word, is giving them something that is INFINITE VALUE in and of itself. Jesus defines neighbor and enemy love as “blessing them.” That is, blessing someone with gifts and things of value. To give a cup of cold water to your enemy, even if he later rejects it, is still a good gift. It is love. Their rejection of it does not negate the act as love. Giving a reprobate the message of Jesus is to gift them something of infinite value, their rejection does not negate the act as love. Their rejection of this gift, is designed for their destruction and hate. Even if you love your enemy so that God might later rain down coals of fire on them later, your love given in the present is still love, because Jesus defines it that way. The end result does not negate Jesus’ infallible definition of love given to your neighbor and enemy.

“Or does the potter not have authority over the clay, to make from the same lump a vessel that is for honorable use and one that is for ordinary use[pee pot]? And what if God, wanting to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And he did so in order that he could make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy that he prepared beforehand for glory.”
(Romans 9:21-23, LEB []-by author)

As Paul says about the twins, “before they were born,” and then to clinch the nail on the other side, to stop any possible rabbit trails of excuses Paul says, “before they had done good or evil,” “I loved Jacob and hated Esau.” Paul then repeats this doctrine by saying “from the same lump,” God then molded the clay forms of the elect and reprobate. A lump is about being neutral; it is like saying, “before they were born or had done any good or evil.” God did not start with a bad “chamber pot,” to then form some for honorable and non-honorable use. No. God started with a formless lump. This means God had an idea what He wanted them to be, before they were formed, and then molded them into that form.

This is talking about man, before Adam’s fall and all man were born evil. To consider a man as sinful, is not to consider them as neutral clay lump, but as already a chamber pot. However, Paul teaches God is deciding the outcome of men, when they are still an unformed lump. A lump is not already good or evil, righteous, or sinful. The next sentence deals with how God treats the chamber pots and vase’s after considering them in light of Adams fall. Because He already decided to make the Elect into a vases, He saves them in mercy. This mercy is used to show them how much He loves them. God demonstrates that His eternal, immutable love, is exactly that. Not even sin Satan and death and stop it. Likewise, the chamber pots left in their sinful state and are hardened even more to fatten them up for damnation; they are used to support His plan to make the Elect into beautiful vases.  

Some will want to resist this. However, if I wanted to express the doctrine that God is in absolute control and man’s choice is not free, I would say, “God decided to love this person and hate this other guy, before they made their own choices of good and bad.” Thus, the objection to say Paul meant something different is a smoke screen, because it makes what Paul says, which is the opposite of their (free-will) position, mean its opposite. For example, if I was against the idea that Johnny’s favorite food is a banana, and Johnny says, “Bananas are my favorite food,” and then I respond, this means Johnny’s favorite food is not bananas, it shows that I am intellectually broken and bearing false witness.  If you see your opponent making both the affirmation and negation of a doctrine mean the same thing, then you know they just exposed how rebellious, disobedient and stupid they are.

As with man, it first started as love toward the Elect, as those who were always with Christ. “Even before he made the world, God LOVED us and chose us in Christ,” (Eph 1:4 NLT).[4] Because man has no ultimate self-causality, God choosing them in Christ in love, is the foundation of their being and existence. It is their antecedent, and so the consequent for them means that love is always affirmed for them in all outcomes. Therefore, for this chosen group in Christ, even after the fall and sin, because love is their beginning and policy from God, mercy triumphs in them, and not the negative of hate and condemnation.

The reprobate group were created to give a backdrop for God to teach the Elect about His love to them, in Christ. The reprobate are the extras in the TV show to showcase God’s main actors, His beloved children. The reprobate are like a filler section in an anime/tv series to give the Elect a place to have character growth. The reprobates are the cannon fodder to provide a context for the elect to practice their kingdom power against; to practice their sword and magic skills. Just as Goliath was the context for God to showcase His love to David, by empowering David with faith to destroy the monster. Not all monsters are the giant type, for Paul says that our weapons are used to tear down arguments from the devil. But the devil uses the reprobates to propagate his arguments. The Elect use this in context, to tear them down by the Spirit and truth; by this they level up in Spiritual maturity and gain new spiritual skills and even temporary material treasures. By seeking His righteousness first, God promises to give the Elect, the material treasures and things that the pagans seek after; the pagans seek more than the bottom minimum. They conveniently store up material treasures for God’s children to unlock at the end of each boss fight, when they seek God’s spiritual treasure first. Furthermore, Acts 10:38 says the devil oppresses and victimizes by sickness and broken bodies. Jesus started the War by healing all those oppressed by the devil. After His departure He has now endowed the Elect with the baptism of the Spirit. They are to pick up Thor’s Hammer where Jesus left it, and now they are to start destroying the works of Satan. The reprobates are thus, the monsters in a video game that give opportunity for the Elect to level up in Spiritual strength, by demolishing the works of the devil, which manifest in the reprobate, who are his fodder spawn. God’s policy of thought and action of favor to His children, is seen in God making them victorious over the devil and the reprobates. By this God’s chosen ones, are made ready for the main story, which is heaven. Thus, the reprobate are first conceived in hate and created in hate by God, to help the Elect to see how great His love is for them.  

…Paul explains in Romans 9, “What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath – prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory…?” (v. 22-23). In other words, God keeps non-Christians alive and functional so that they can provide an environment for Christians to interact with, to learn and practice the word of God, and to witness God’s wrath against these people that refuse to believe in Jesus Christ.

Suppose a man wishes to preserve some beer bottles to use as targets when he plays with his rifle, and to show off his marksmanship to his children. He would collect these bottles, clean them, and preserve them in a safe place. He offers to these bottles a natural benevolence, but he has no personal concern for them as he does his children. And when the time comes he will line them up and shoot them to a thousand pieces without any remorse, while his children praise him and rejoice with him.

Does this mean that non-Christians are preserved and cared for by divine providence, just so they can be used and discarded? This is precisely what Paul 88says in his letter to the Romans. And he adds that God has “the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use” (v. 21). In those days, “common” vessels include receptacles for trash and feces. This is God’s estimation of non-Christians. It also offers a basis to illustrate God’s great mercy toward those of us who believe in Jesus Christ – it is as if we have been changed from toilets where people dump their excrements into spectacular vases through which God displays the beauty of his wisdom, power, and glory…[5]

———EndNote———–

[1] Vincent Cheung. Systematic Theology. 2010. 78

I find Vincent’s definition of God’s love and hate is to be correct, and so I will use it. However, I am not claiming that I am using this definition just like him.

[2] Paraphrased from Vincent Cheung, “Our Contract with God.” See the book, Contract, 2020.

[3] “Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors.”

[4] Philippians 4:3 NLT, “… They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.”

Revelation 13:8 LEB , “And all those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name is not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.”

[5] Vincent Cheung. Systematic Theology, 2010. Pg. 72-73

When God’s Will, Is Turned into Demonic Divination

We are not dealing with the difference about God’s Will, and its 2 ways the bible uses it, which is causality and command; this has already been dealt with. In addition, Vincent has already done a great article, demonstration the focus of the Bible about healing and such is not the Will of God, but the Will of man; this is positive doctrine the Bible overwhelmingly focuses on.

The focus I wish to bring up is the horrific consequence that happens when one abuses God’s sovereignty to negate Christian accountability and responsibility.

Even though God gives commands and precepts in wonderfully encouraging promises, they are still commands. They are not suggestions; they are not self-help-tips from a spiritual guru. When Paul tells us to live by faith and not sight, it is a precept. You are responsible and accountable to accomplish this by faith. When Jesus tells us not to worry and fear, it is a command. You are responsible and accountable to accomplish this by faith in God. When James tells us if we lack wisdom, to ask God, without doubting, to get wisdom, it is a precept. You are responsible and accountable to get wisdom by faith. If you doubt, you are in disobedience, and this accountability is yours to bear. When James tells us—if you are sick, pray in faith and you “shall be healed”—, he is giving a precept. It is not a self-help tip. James is not a Yoga teacher. He is standing in the place of God giving instruction and commands. You are responsible and accountable to get healed, if you failed, the accountability is yours to bear. The same with the beautiful gospel message. Just because it is wonderful, does not negate it is a command. All bear the responsibility to be saved by faith.

In all the above situations, saying “God’s Will,” will not save you on the day of judgement for disobeying these commands. Either Christ took on these disobedience in His substitution for you, or you will bear them in the fires of hell.

The phrase, “God’s Will,” or “God is in control,” is used to negate God’s command to be saved, to be healed, to get wisdom, to get victories over our troubles and so on. Yet, this is not what I wish to focus on. Another ethical horror, is what is happening when God’s will is used to determine ethics.

First, the irrational use of ontology to ethics.

“Brightman’s argument and all forms of so-called scientific ethics are based on a logical oversight. The premises of these theories are always descriptive statements, such as: I like this, or my friends like this. Science is a matter of observation and description, but scientific ethics depends on empirical observation for its premises. And if the premises are descriptive statements, the conclusions cannot be logically anything else than descriptive. Yet for ethics there must be normative conclusions. It will not suffice to say that you, or I, or Brightman likes this. What is required is a statement that you and I and Brightman ought to like this, and that everyone ought to like this, even though as a descriptive fact nobody likes it. The premises of science are always descriptive propositions; the conclusions of ethics must be normative. And it is a logical blunder to insert terms in the conclusion that did not appear in the premises. Any theory of ethics therefore that attempts to support ideals on observation, experience, or scientific method rests on a fallacy.”

-Gordon Clark. “The Achilles Heel of Humanism.”

Clark is making an obvious but often overlooked point. When thinking intelligently and rationally, you cannot do it if you try to conclude an ethic from statements of existence and casualty. You cannot validly go from ontology to ethics in a conclusion. Or do you cannot rationally go from “is” to an “ought” in the conclusion. The same is true for all category errors. You cannot be in the category of dogs, in your major and minor premise, to then concluded in a category of mathematics. So what if golden retrievers are warm blooded dogs, what does that have to do with 6 + 109 = 115?

Obviously athletic, empiricist, and evolutionist make this mistake, but why are Christians so stupid?

For example:

H.1. All humans are those who were born sinful.
H.2. Oshea is human.
H.3. Thus, Oshea is he who should repent.

This is painfully invalid. It is a four-term fallacy. I have more information in the conclusion, which I did not start with.

The premises are statements about reality, but I concluded with a different knowledge and category of an ethic.

The only rational way for Oshea to know that he should repent is if God commands it, and God does. All Christian ethics are God’s commandments.  

G.1. All humans are those commanded by God to repent.
G.2. Oshea is a human.
G.3. Thus, Oshea is commanded by God to repent.

I bring in this logic lesson, because this illogical (or superstitious) mistake is often made when I hear people say, “God’s will,” or “God is in control.”

Let us continue to see what a mix-up from God’s causality and His commands looks like.

If I say, all [bark] is [silent]. And all [dogs] [bark]. Thus all [dogs] are [silent],” then my syllogism is not sound because I made a 4-term fallacy (with bark), or an equivocation as an informal fallacy. 

For a syllogism to be valid, then the category needs to stay the same. If not, then mental blunders such as a 4-term fallacy, equivocation or a non-necessary connection is made (etc.). For a propositional syllogism to work, it must have a necessary connection and not merely a sufficient one.[[1]] A modus ponens where the “if…then,” connection is merely sufficient but not necessary, is most likely the fallacy of affirming the consequent wrongly disguised as something it is not.[[2]]

For a correct example, consider the Ultimate level.

J.1. (P) If God decrees (Ultimate) Johnny to not believe the gospel, (~Q) then Johnny will choose not to believe(relative ontology).
J.2. (P).
J.3. Thus, (Q).

The antecedent is ontology the on ultimate level. The consequent is ontology on the relative level. The Real level of causality (p), necessarily results in the relative level causality (q). This works, because it is a true cause and effect revealed by Scripture.

Think of a game like checkers, or chess.[[3]] The ultimate level is saying, “Oshea moves white pawn.” But on the relative level, “white pawn moves to E4.” Or in propositional logic, going from ultimate ontology to relative.

K.1. (P) If Oshea directly moves black bishop to B3, (Q) then the necessary result is that black bishop will take white pawn on B3.
K.2. (P).
K.3. Thus, (Q).

This is saying, “God directly causes all things; thus, God directly causes specific x, y or z.” If God ultimately causes all things, then God ultimately is the author for all rain. Or. If God ultimately causes all things, then God ultimately is the author for all sin. Like Vincent Cheung says, “Deduction is more like an application of knowledge, unlike induction, which is a fallacious attempt at arriving at more knowledge.”[[4]]

Now, what if I were to use God’s decree in the antecedent, but then go into a necessary consequent of what man ought to do (ethics)?

L.1.(P) If God commands all to believe in the gospel, (~Q) then Jack is accountable for not believing the gospel.
L.2. (P)
L.3. (Q)

N.1. (P) If God commands(ethics) that no one is to bear false witness, (Q) then Jack is wrong when he bears false witness against Sally.[[5]]
N.2. (P)
N.3. (Q)

The big idea? All [Christian ethics] are [God’s revealed commandments]. God commanded x, y and z; thus, is it always ethical for human (H) to obey x, y and z, and ethically wrong to disobey. NLV 1 John 3:4, “For sin is breaking the Law of God.” Thus, all [sin] is [lawbreaking]. If said in the immediate deduction of contraposition in layman’s terms, “if the law is being kept, then, there is no sin.”

Look, what happens if we mix categories up?

M.1. (P) If God decreed the Apostle Thomas to not believe Jesus’ resurrection, (~Q) then Thomas is not accountable for not believing what Jesus commanded to.
M.2. (P)
M.3. (~Q)

Or in more concise way of saying it,

B.1. If God decreed unbelief, then ok to not believe.
B.2. God decreed unbelief.
B.3. Thus, it is ok to not believe.

Or God’s decreed said more in relation to plan, rather than direct cause.

B.1. If God planned unbelief, then ok to not believe.
B.2. God planned unbelief.
B.3. Thus, it is ok to not believe.

Again, this is unsound and false. It does not matter if it is ontology level 1, regarding God’s sovereign plan about reality, or if it is level 2, regarding God’s direct causality right now. To go from ontology to ethics is not a necessary connection. It is invalid and a false description of reality. It is invalid to conclude an “ought” from your observations, which is an “is.” What you observe is at best what something “is”; although, I do not even say observations are able to even give this, due to the logical fallacy of empiricism and induction. There is not a necessary connection (p), to an (q) ought. Those who practice this fallacy, practice a doctrine of witchcraft and divination. It is demonic stronghold over the mind.  

Necessary Connection of Ethics

 The Scripture often gives explanations (of reality and causality), or that, it gives definitions and context when the commands are given. Yet, the explanation is not the command and vice versa.  In propositional logic, there is not a necessarily connection in “if…then.” Or, in syllogistic logic, either premise 1 or 2 would be a false premise. Therefore, I cannot make a truth claim from scripture that, “All [what God causes] is [human ethics].” And so also, I cannot assert that, “if God caused the Pharaoh to be hard minded to obey, then it is ethically good for Pharaoh to disobey God’s command.”  

 However, there is a NECESSARY connection from what God commands man, to what man OUGHT to do. It always applies. God commands all men to obey Him. Oshea is a man. Thus, Oshea ought to obey God’s commandments.

Here is the right question to ask. “What OUGHT I do in this situation?” An ought, is referring to an ethic, and thus, I need to find God’s relevant commands and promises (which are commands).

Now try this with “God’s Will.”  Notice the category fallacy is now being used like a sleazy used car-salesman; it is like a fallacy called a “slight of hand.” It is hiding the clear definition behind ambiguity and rhetoric.

F.1. (P) If God’s will is for the Apostle Thomas to not believe Jesus’ resurrection, (Q) then necessarily Thomas ought to do God’s will.  
F.2. (P)
F.3. (Q)

What does this mean? Depending how you use “God’s will,” whether for causality or command it will output different conclusions. And this—slight of hand ambiguity—is how I often see people use it. They output the conclusion that fits their favoritism. They find the easiest conclusion to fit their unbelief, rather than, outputting the conclusion that Scripture, with its correct categories, would give.

God’s Command Or Demonic Superstition? 

A simple way to term, the “invalidness” or logical leaps, which are made between premise and conclusion is “superstition.” The reason is that superstition is about making-up-*@#%, I’m sorry, making-up-conclusions that do not belong to what you know. To conclude a weird sound in your darkroom, is a ghost, is invalid; it is superstitious. A category of “sound,” and the conclusion of a ghost in the conclusion is a different category. The conclusion has more information in it, than what the premises provide. In other words, when you commit a category error, you are no less superstitious (invalid) than pagans worshiping the moon.

For example, it is invalid for a voodoo doctor or shaman to go from seeing a red moon, or the sudden motion of sand blowing in the air (a description of metaphysics or ontology, “is”), to an “ought” conclusion of, “we ought to sacrifice an albino baby for good luck for the village.”

Others do the same thing with demonic divinations with a game called Ouija board. Asking dead spirits or demons for advice or knowledge, they wait for board pieces or their hands to move. Hopefully by now, you see the invalidness of this. So what, if you hand moves? So what, if you hand moves 50 miles and then grows and shrinks? Who cares? It gives you no knowledge. It gives you no subjects or predicates. However, leaving the issue of empiricism, to conclude from a premise of metaphysics or ontology about hands moving, to “I should to this, or I need to do that, or I have an idea what to do tomorrow,” is invalid. It is superstitious. The conclusion has more information in it, than what the premises provide.

Christians however play the same game with the terms, “God’s will,” or “God is in control.”

They will say, “Johnny prayed for healing, but did not get; thus it is God’s will for Johnny to accept this (ethic) as part of his life.”  That is invalid. It is pagan superstition. The conclusion does not logically follow. The conclusion has more information in it than what the premises provide. They have a premise of metaphysics or ontology, and then magically produce an “ought” out of it. They are saying, “God move my hand (to have cancer or some disease), and thus, I know what I “ought” to do now. The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is now being used like demonic divination. It is like saying, “I asked if I will be healed, and then the Ouija board moved my hand in this way, thus, it is fate for me not to be healed. I ought to accept this as part of my life.” In both examples what “ought” to be done did not start with God’s commandment about the topic; rather, both used causality and existence and their observations from it, to superstitiously form an “ought” conclusion.  

Sadly, many Christians have more in common with pagans and Satanists, when deciding what they “ought” to do, as compared to obeying God’s commandments. Why would Satan need to infiltrate the church with Ouija boards, when he has already been successful in making Christians practice demonic divination, by abusing the doctrine of God’s sovereignty to live a life of overt superstition. The amount I see so-called Christians abuse, “God is in control, and God’s will,” is unmeasurable. They so often live a life of superstition, they could even help teach voodoo witchdoctors how to be even more superstitious.

If Christians can stop committing spiritual perversion with empiricism and superstition for just one minute, then I pray God will help you see the horror you are committing against your own soul, and extreme level of disobedience you are committing against God’s commands.  Stop superstitiously divining what you ought to do; rather, humble yourself under God’s command and believe Him to be faithful do what He promised.

 

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not narrowly about the forgiveness of sins, for that is only the doorway into the life of the Spirit. This gospel is about all the benefits it acquired, at that time and place (not another time, and another place), in Christ’s atonement. Galatians says that faith in Jesus grafts one into the promised blessing of Abraham. What does this promise of God mean? This promise includes, according to Paul, the Spirit and miracles. And let us not be naïve; if Paul is mentioning the Spirit and miracles, in context of the New Testament, it must be presupposed this is a common experience in the Galatian church. Yet, Scripture argues this common miracle experience is based on the very old promise that God gave to Abraham. God is merely letting His “Yes be Yes.” He is being faithful to His promise. God is not like man; God does what He promises, even if it is thousands of years later; and even if the people to who God promise did not realize this promise meant an abundant/common experience of miracles and Spirit in the New Testament Church; yet God knew, and He is faithful to do what He promised.

Thus, Jesus’ death and intercession grants this blessing for all individuals who have faith in Him. This is said on the relative level ontology. On ultimate level ontology, it was not accomplished by their faith; rather, Jesus’ atonement did, and it was accepted and declared as final and good by the Father. God’s sovereign choice decided that based on Jesus’ work the Elect are righteous and worthy to be adopted as His son’s. This act is good and righteous for God the judge to do so, because God thinks it is so. Therefore, faith as a purchased gift is sovereignly worked in those to whom this reconciliation was for. The Elect’s souls are far too weak to resist God’s power to awaken their tiny souls into the unstoppable power and life of His Spirit. And so, believe and receive. Read God’s commands and obey they, by acquiring what they promise in faith. Love God by obeying His commands. There is not another way to love God. But for the elect, God will put His laws into their hearts, so that they will not depart from Him. He will be their God, and they will be His people. God will not stop from doing good, and applying the New Covenant to them.

 

———-ENDNOTES——–

[1] See my website and the essay, “Logic Lesson – Categorical vs. Hypothetical,” by James Creighton

[2] M.1. (P) If my yard is wet, (Q) then it rained.

M.2. (P) Indeed, my yard is wet.

M.3. (Q) Thus, my yard is wet.

This Modus Ponens is really an affirming the consequent that is merely disguised. The connection is not a necessary one. Maybe I watered my yard with the garden hose? Let us restate it as affirming the consequent, which is the correct form when reasoning backwards in pragmatic matters. It is a fallacy and is the basis for all scientific experiments.

N.1. (P) If it rains, (Q) then my yard get wets.

N.2. (Q). My yard is wet.

N.3. (P) Thus, it rained.

[3] I got this initial idea of a chess game from Vincent Cheung. See, “There is No Real Synergism.”

[4] Vincent wrote this to me in an email(2017) regarding a question I asked him about his essay, “Induction and Bible Study,” web. 2016. (www.vincentcheung.com).

[5] Like the other above it, the antecedent is the ultimate ethic (God commands), and the consequent dealing the ethics on the relative level (human x choses to or not obey God’s command)—relative is the human level and not referring to relativism. There is some indirect use of ontology, for ontology, or reality can be predicated to any subject, but this is not the main or direct category here.

The Decrees of God, vs, Demonic Fatalism

This is from the forthcoming book: Systematic Theology

As said before, affirming God’s absolute sovereignty can be said in one simple deduction and applied in every instance. It is so simple a 2nd grader could do it. The whole section you just read could have been said in one page, if not for wicked, stupid and lazy people resisting the doctrine.

God is absolutely and directly sovereign over all things; thus, God is sovereign over x, y and z (etc.). Why do I need to hold people’s hands to apply this?

I often in this context, refer to this as “God’s causality over all things.” Or in philosophy, Christian metaphysics and ontology. The Scripture usually refers to this in two terms, God’s sovereignty, or God’s decrees. And in particular with the term “decrees,” we are dealing with what is the central issue or the biblical focus on God’s sovereignty. The reason for this is simple, it is a no-brainer, easy to affirm God is totally sovereign over this moment as I write, or as I do anything, whether I sin or do acts of faith. This is painfully easy to understand and affirm. However, sense we are not dealing with mere abstracted fatalism, or pantheism, but an intellectual God, then the core issue of affirming God’s sovereignty is knowing what He decreed. The focus is on an intellectual Mind that had a goal for what He wants and with perfect control over His mind and infinite understanding, set goals and worked the order of reality to accomplish His purposes and intentions.

 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 

 just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him in love,

 having predestined us to adoption through Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace that he bestowed on us in the beloved, 

 in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace, 

 that he caused to abound to us in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in him, 

 for the administration of the fullness of times, to bring together all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in him 

 in whom also we were chosen, having been predestined according to the purpose of the One who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 

 that we who hoped beforehand in Christ should be for the praise of his glory, 

 in whom also you, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also when you believed you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:3-14 LEB

An understanding of some basic logic and understanding of category statements could be helpful here. For example, if I say, “all fish are trout,” is categorically different than saying “all trout are fish.” (See picture for a simple circle diagram.)

When dealing with categories, if all the subject, (not just some) is numerically or by attribute belongs to the predicate, then subject is a smaller circle fully inside the larger predicate circle. Thus, the subject is universally contained in the predicate. The logic is simple.

The first one is false, the other is true. In Genesis God established categories of the things He created. Thus, even if we mix in some specific induction, we know as infallible truth, God created fixed categories for animals, fish, vegetation, and etc.. We know there are many types of each in each of the broad categories. Thus, we know to say, “all fish are trout,” or, “all birds are sparrows,” is false, for there are many types of fish and birds, not just trout and sparrows. Thus, to casually flip the subject and predicate, of categorical truth claims is against Biblical teaching.

This is important to remember, because we are dealing with the ORDER of God’s decrees. It is important not to flip things around. If God decrees “x” as first, then it is not second or seventh. Congratulations, we just left second grade and now we can finally move on to forth grade teaching on God’s sovereignty. It is not bear control. An intelligent Mind ordered the world for His own goals. As we saw with an early circle diagram from 1 Corinthians 3, the order of multiple categories is crucial.

People who keep saying—God is in control, God is in control of my life, God is in control of this situation and even those who affirm with more boldness, God is in control and He is even the author of sin and evil—are spiritual infants. They never left second grade. They are mentally stunted. The question is, “how is God in control,” and “what has God commanded you to do, in light of His control of it.” Just saying God is in control, is of little help if it is applied like pantheism or fatalism. The decrees of God show His control is determinism in accordance to His own good purposes. Knowing God is in control is not boiled down to having a pagan, “Zen state of mind” about life; it is not boiled down to being calm. God was in sovereign control, when He directly and absolutely caused all those people in the gospels to be sick, blind, dead, leprous and demon possessed. What did Jesus do about this, as a man born under the law of God? He healed, resurrected and set those people free by the power of God. He commands us to do the same. If you do not do this, then the doctrine of God’s sovereignty is both wasted on you, and it shows you never believed above an infant level understanding of God’s sovereignty.

To say God is in control is not an ethic. It does not tell you what to do. However, if we say God has used this sovereign control, to DECREE us to be children of God, and DECREED we have bold access to His throne of grace, well then, this actually has huge implications for the person stating it. To say God has used His sovereign control, to DECREE for us to have power over sickness and demons, has huge implications. This shows us how God is in control. And some basic ordering of His control. It gives us understanding about our definition of Christians. God is not pantheism. His control over the world is explained and understand as His ordered decrees about all things.

What good is it for a sinner to realize they are a born a sinner by God’s control over their life, and say, “well, God is in control”? Do they forget God has used His control over reality to DECREE that there is salvation in Jesus Christ, and for those with faith, then a new life, a new soul and a new world is theirs for the taking.

In my experience, when I hear Christians say, God is in control or God’s Will, it has more in common with pagan fatalism than it does with God’s decrees of determinism. They are spiritual perverts and liars. God has used His sovereign control to DECREE that the elect are to be victorious (in everyday life difficulties) over sin, besetting sins, sickness, diseases, terrors of the night or day, demons and poverty. This so-called Christian appeal to, “God is in control,” is in reality an appeal to fatalism, and thus they let the sickness and demons roll right over them. In such acts these spiritual losers, are prostrating themselves to demons and their doctrines. These people are part of Reformed churches as much as they are part of Pentecostal churches. They falsely claim to assent to God’s sovereign control, but in reality they are liars. They believe in fatalism, and use this equivocation to negate the commandments of God. God’s specific descriptions of His sovereign control in His decrees, because of their detailed nature, are often accompanied with commands. That is, with detailed decrees, which are usually about the church, God gives commandments about the specific descriptions of reality He has ordered.  For example, God had decreed salvation for the elect in the atonement of Christ. God therefore commands repentance and faith in the gospel. God is in control, even when He directly caused the elect to be born sinners. However, by the decree of God, the elect believe what God has revealed. They believe by faith in Jesus they are saved. And so they are.  Also, God has decreed healing to be part of the atonement for the elect. With this specific description of God’s decree, God then commands us to have faith to be healed. God is in control, even when He directly caused the elect to have sickness and troubles. However, by the decree of God, the elect believe what God has revealed. They believe by faith in Jesus they are healed and delivered. And so they are.

Fatalism comes in and negates these commands, because God is in control, or, God’s will. Because God is in control, and thus, is ultimately in control over the fact you are sick and diseased, thus, you will pray, but what will happen by God’s control, will happen. This sounds humble and religious to spiritual perverts, but not to God. It is applying a demonic doctrine of fatalism over God’s determinism. God has used His sovereign control to decree that those with faith, will be healed, will cause Satan to depart and be victorious.

Fatalism is used to negate the details of God’s sovereign decrees. These people might be those who are quick to point out how the religious leaders in the gospels negated the commands of God by their traditions. Well, fatalism is a human made doctrine with its own traditions. Our religious leaders of today, mask their human doctrine with a biblical sounding topic—God’s sovereign control—but their wicked and sinister goal is to negate the commandments of God with it. They are sons of hell, leading others to be even greater sons of hell than they are.  

———————Endnotes——————–

Picture diagram of 1 Corinthians 3:23

Always God’s will To Heal Someone

Joe Carter at TGC, when talking about Bill Johnson at Bethel Church says,

The Johnsons are frequently criticized for their teachings, which often veers from the suspect to the outright heretical. A prime example is Bill Johnson’s….it is always God’s will to heal someone:”[1]

Some educated people, like the famous Erasmus, who was defeated by Martin Luther over an informal fallacy of a category error[*], are dumb at the most fundamental level. Or as Luther says, dumber or less educated than grammar school children, swinging on the monkey bars.

The gospel they use to condemn others of being heretical would make them twice as guilty, if not more. To shoot their opponent with their bb gun, they must shoot themselves with a .50 cal. pistol. Yet they do it anyway, somehow thinking they, “got them”?

I do not know the whole teaching of Bill, and so will not comment on him, but only on this one thing being said.  What Bill said is correct, if “God’s Will,” is meant as ethics, since “God’s Will” can mean either Christian ontology or ethics. And from my limited exposure, it seems to me, this is how Bill means it. (Let me give this quick side note. If Bill meant “God’s Will,” as God’s precept and when you criticize him, taking it to be ontology, then congratulations, you just committed the sin of slander and bearing false witness.) When asking what God’s will is for me, then the context is about ethics. Christian ethics is what God commands us to do. The bible commands us to have faith to be healed. It is not a suggestion, just as it is not a suggestion to repent of your sins in Jesus name, in faith. It is a command. James 5 says if you are sick then pray in “faith.” James is not merely saying to pray if you are sick, and then “see what happen.” James command is to get healed by faith, and if you have sinned you will also be forgiven.

Because it is always God’s command for healing when you are sick, then it is always God’s Will for healing.

When the disciples failed to heal the boy in Mark 9, due to their lack of faith, Jesus went behind them and healed the boy anyway. Why? Because it is always God’s Will to heal by faith. It is always God’s will to forgive sins, because it is His commandment to us. God is still alive, even if some Christians do not like this fact. Thus, God’s commandments still stand today.  If it is always God’s will for His commandments to be believed and obeyed, then healing and forgiveness is always God’s will.

On ultimate level causality, God causes all things. This is sometimes referred to as, God’s will. God caused, Thomas the Twin, to doubt Jesus resurrection; this was “God’s Will,” on the ultimate or only real level of causality. But God’s Will in regards to ethics, (what you ought to do) is to believe God. And so, Jesus rebuked Thomas, even though Thomas went along with God’s Will (causality) by not believing in Jesus’ resurrection. Even when God causes us to sin, for God causes all things, it is invalid to conclude this is what we “ought to do.” Paul clearly says in Romans 5 that God caused all people to be born as guilty sinners, and causes them to do sin. However, God’s commands all to repent, despite that He causes all to be born sinners, separate from their freedom and choice, (Acts 17 “he now commands all people everywhere to repent”). You cannot conclude, “Because God caused me to be born guilty and caused me to be control by sin, that it is “God’s Will,” for me to be a sinner.” No, what God causes and what He commands are not the same category. Color and numbers are not the same category. Why do I need to say this to grown adults?

Jesus rebuked Thomas, not on grounds of God’s causality, but of ethics. Jesus told him to do God’s revealed command, which is to believe in the Son of God.

Look, what happens if we mix categories up?

G.1. (~P) If God caused(ontology) the Apostle Thomas to not believe Jesus’ resurrection, (~Q) then it is right(ethics) for Thomas to not believe what Jesus commanded.
G.2. (~P)
G.3. Thus. (~Q).

Or in a simply form:

B.1. If God planned unbelief, then ok to not believe.
B.2. God planned unbelief.
B.3. Thus, it is ok to not believe.

Again, this is unsound and false. It does not matter if it is ontology level 1, regarding God’s sovereign plan about reality, or if it is level 2, regarding God’s direct causality right now. To go from ontology to ethics is not a necessary connection. It is invalid and a false description of reality. It is invalid to conclude an “ought” from your observations, which is an “is.” What you observe is at best what something “is”; although, I would be cautious to even affirm this, due to the logical fallacy of empiricism and induction. There is not a necessary connection (p), to an (q) ought. Those who practice this fallacy, practice a doctrine of witchcraft and divination. It is a demonic stronghold over the mind. It has similarities to ouija board practitioners.

God caused the Pharaoh to not obey His command, by making the Pharaoh’s soul hard. However, this secret causality of God, does not negate His command(ethic), to let His people go. The same is with the gospel call to repentance. God might decree, and then cause human reprobate F or H or O, to not believe the gospel; however, what they “ought” to do is what God commands and not what God causes or decrees. The Pharaoh was a lawbreaker by disobeying God’s command to let His people go; therefore, He is accountable. Now, Responsibility is not based on Pharaoh’s freedom, but on God’s sovereign control to hold Pharaoh accountable to His command, period. Pharaoh did not resist God’s causality, because nothing can. Pharaoh is guilty because he disobeyed God’s command.

This is a similar stupid mistake that Erasmus made in mixing up ontology with ethics. Even if God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, Pharaoh is judged by God’s Will, that is, by God’s command to let His people go. We are also judged by this same impartial standard. We are judged by God’s commands.

This gospel of Jesus Christ is not narrowly about the forgiveness of sins, for that is only the doorway into the life of the Spirit. This gospel is about all the benefits it acquired, at that time and place (not another time, and another place), in Christ’s atonement. Galatians says that faith in Jesus grafts one into the promised blessing of Abraham. What does this promise of God mean? This promise includes, according to Paul, the Spirit and miracles. And let us not be naïve; if Paul is mentioning the Spirit and miracles, in context of the New Testament, it must be presupposed this is a common experience in the Galatian church. Yet, Scripture argues this common miracle experience is based on the very old promise that God gave to Abraham. God is merely letting His “Yes be Yes.” He is being faithful to His promise. God is not like man; God does what He promises, even if it is thousands of years later; and even if the people to who God promise did not realize this promise meant an abundant/common experience of miracles and Spirit in the New Testament Church; yet God knew, and He is faithful to do what He promised.

Thus, Jesus’ death and intercession grants this blessing for all individuals who have faith in Him. This is said on the relative level ontology. On ultimate level ontology, it was not accomplished by their faith; rather, Jesus’ atonement did, and it was accepted and declared as final and good by the Father. As stated earlier about God’s direct and arbitrary-sovereignty that gives all things their definition, the same is true here as it is for all things. God’s sovereign choice decided that based on Jesus’ work the Elect are righteous and worthy to be adopted as His son’s. This act is good and righteous for God the judge to do so, because God thinks it is so. Therefore, faith as a purchased gift is sovereignly worked in those to whom this reconciliation was for. The Elect’s souls are far too weak to resist God’s power to awaken their tiny souls into the unstoppable power and life of His Spirit.

Isaiah says that Jesus as a High Priest, accomplished healing for His elect. In fact, Matthew 8:17 quotes this passage as demonstrating Jesus fulfilling what God promised. The point is that the blood and intercession of Jesus purchased this healing gift for those who take it by faith. Thus, it is not surprising to discover that faith for forgiveness of sins is accomplished by the same way. Jesus’ blood and intercession purchased it and all individuals predestined to be in the Covenant, will have faith to take it. Jesus says in John 15 we are “appointed,” or that is predestined for good works.[2] To Jesus this predestination of fruit includes loving others and having faith to ask and get anything from God.

Hebrews 10:29  (NLT)
“Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.”

“To say you can have faith, but God still might not heal you,” logically means, you trample the bloodshed of Christ as trash. It despises the compassionate nature of God. Healing is a provision of the Blood of Jesus as a High Priest, which is stated in Isaiah 53, and reaffirmed in the New Testament (Matt 8:17).  At the time and place of Jesus’ atonement (not something else), both forgiveness of sins and healing was accomplished.  Furthermore, the blessing of Abraham was accomplished by the same means. Both are based on the finished atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore, if you negate “faith healing,” because it is produced by the bloodshed of Jesus as a high priest, then you logically negate “faith forgiveness,” because the bloodshed of Jesus is the cause of both. If you throw out one, you throw out the other. Bye, bye, forgiveness of sins: see you later.  There is only one Bible and one definition of the atonement. And this definition makes both healing and forgiveness based on the finished work of Jesus and received by faith.”[3]

The truth of the matter is the God is “obligated,” to answer our prayers once God makes a sovereign promise to do so. (i.e. Obligated to His nature that cannot lie.) 1 John says that God is “just,” to forgive us our sins, not “merciful.” 1 John 1:9 (LEB), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, so that he will forgive us our sins.” Because of God’s sovereign promise to honor Jesus’ atonement and honor the promise of forgiveness of sin, when one asks in faith, God therefore, is “just” and “faithful” to forgive. You could be weird and call it, “forcing God to do our will,” but that would be a strange way to say it. God cannot lie. God is faithful. When God makes a promise, then He must fulfill it, or contradict His own nature. It was in God’s own freedom and sovereignty to make the promise to begin with. And so, He will sovereignly and happily keep His sovereignly made promise.  To sovereignly break the promise, would be to deny Himself.

What pathetic moron will say, “even if you believe in faith for salvation in Jesus, because God is sovereign, He might not forgive you, because it is arrogant to assume, God’s Will.” Lord forbid, we believe in “faith-forgiveness,” because it would mean God is not sovereign, right?”

Despite their rhetoric, the Bible is not their (non-faith-people, traditionalist, atheist) first principle for knowledge. Rather, it is their experiences, emotions, traditions and human empiricism. The kingdom of self dominates their tiny souls, because they start with their human speculations first, rather than God’s word. They would do us all a favor if they came out from the closet and just said, “Sola Empiricism,” and “David Hume alone.”

However, some do not even try to hide the fact that they are spiritual sluts with empiricism and human speculation and human superstition. With a straight face they ask me, “why do we not see so many miracles today, unless God does not want it?” They are like the people from Jesus’ hometown who said, “This is Joseph’s and Mary’s son,” and then in unbelief demand He prove by miracles who He claims to be. But their unbelief made that impossible. These peers did not start with God’s revelation; rather, their starting point for knowledge was their human observations. Scripture records it was due to their lack of faith, and not the lack of Jesus being willing and able to heal. With such people I am asking myself, what happen to starting with God’s revelation for knowledge? Where did God go? Why is it so automatic for them to start with a “human” speculation and “human” superstition? If they only mean to do a personal attack (a logical fallacy) by saying, “Oshea (or Johnny), how many miracles have you done,” then why do they default to argumentation that the politicians use?  Is it because politicians are such good examples for how to argue for truth?  They are like the religious leaders who slapped Jesus and demanded He prove His claim as God by prophesying. They harlot themselves with David Hume’s empiricism in the open streets, and then march back in their pulpits, and after wiping off their sweaty faces, they say with a straight face, “solo scriptura.”  Maybe if they could stop humping on empiricism for just a few seconds, they might wake up and realize the disgrace they are committing against their own souls, and against those who hear them.

But for you. Start with God’s revelation and believe Him. He wants you to know about all His benefits and to rely on Him to be faithful to fulfill all His promises, including both the spiritual and material one. Paul says in the prayer in Ephesians 3 that as we trust in Jesus’ great love for us, He will make our souls His home, and by this we become strong in the inner man. Trust in God’s policy of thought and action of favor to you[4], that always triggers on the highest, lowest, longest and widest application of life.

——-END NOTES——-

[1] Joe Carter, “9 Things You Should Know About the Bethel Church Movement.” www.thegospelcoalition.org

[*]Martin Luther’s point about confusing the category of an imperative and indicative is the first I know of who shows a category mistake with God’s causation and command. Vincent Cheung has been a help to me to understand this is greater clarity. See his, Systematic Theology, Healing and Atonement, and the essay called, “Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11

[2] Vincent Cheung helped me to see this clearly in this passage. See, Vincent Cheung, Predestination and Miracles.

[3] Oshea Davis. Intercession and Predestination.

[4] This definition, I do not know if it is original to Vincent or not, but I learned it from him in his Systematic Theology book. “Love is God’s policy of thought and action of favor.”

The Transcendence and Nearness of God

Transcendence of God:

Attributes that describe God’s existence (such as, Infinity, Immutability, Timelessness (etc.)), show God’s existence to be Transcendent to every other type. This is where the base idea of holiness comes from, in the broadest sense. Holiness means God is a cut-above all others in a said category. However, God’s transcendence is a step greater than this, in that God is all together different in these categories. To be cut-above the competition does not “necessarily” mean a whole new category; it might, but does not necessarily donate that. The context will define how to understand it. At the very least, sometimes God Holiness does refer to His metaphysical attributes in the transcendent way.

“For thus says the high and lofty One—He Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin].”
(Isaiah 57:15 AMP)

At other times God’s holiness refers to His moral perfection, in Justice, Mercy and His ability to help. In this light God’s Holiness is the internal value of His nature. Glory, is this (internal) value, shinning out in the public (external).

He is holy.
…They called to Yahweh, and he answered them.
…you answered them.
You were a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrong.
(Psalm 99:6-8 LEB)

Furthermore, this is like God being Ex Lex. Or that God is above all ethical laws. This is indeed true in a sense; however, God is more than merely above the law. God is categorically different (transcendent) from the laws even being applied to Him. Again, the idea of category errors come up. God’s laws are not so much below Him, as they are applied to the category of man. It is not so much that God is above moral laws commanded to man; they do not categorically apply to Him.

As said before God is the Foundation of theology, not something else. The foundation of how or if laws apply to God, is God; it does not start with man, inductively making up superstitions about it. No. God is the foundation. God is the foundation that gave laws to man. Not the other way around, despite how badly man wants it to be. God’s law is commanded to man, not to Himself. If man tries to say, “well this means, God must also behave this way,” is man starting with something not revealed in scripture. It is man starting with man, and using man’s induction to command laws on God. It is the height of rebellion and arrogance. God is the foundation for laws, not man.

Back to the point. Is the category of humans above the category of “subjects and predicates,” or do they have no necessary category relation to even ask such a question? Is red above the category of odd numbers, or is there no necessary connection to even ask such a question?

In a publication that I cannot presently find at Vincent Cheung’s website, called, Better than Ex Lex, he says something to the effect of, “my position is not merely ex lex; rather, the transcendence of God is that he doesn’t even have to be ex lex.”

If God has infinite wealth and supply, and owns everything, and even owns the persons who owns things, then God is categorically different from a billionaire, and not merely in degree.

If God has infinite propositions and infinite connections about these propositions, and understands them, not in a mutable linear way, but in an immutable all at the same time understanding, then God’s mind is not merely different in degree, but is categorically different from man’s mind.

The Nearness of God:

This doctrine of the Nearness or imminence of God is put right next to God’s Transcendence because the Bible often does so to show the value of God.

Though the Lord is exalted,

He regards the lowly [and invites them into His fellowship]; But the proud and haughty He knows from a distance,” Psalm 138:6. AMP

Although God is separate from His creation and Transcendent to it, yet, God has made man in a special way; namely, spirit and intellectual/rational. When you combine with this that in Jesus Christ, God has given us His very own Spirit, then you have an incredibly, special result. The Saints know God in the same way God knows Himself. This does not mean the saints are God, or become infinite and timeless; rather, it means that the way God knows Himself, intellectual and Spirit—by His very own Spirit—God causes the saints to know Him in this way. God is near to them, in the way God is near to Himself, that is, in a rational and spiritual way, even by the Spirit who knows Himself.

“No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit.”
1 Corinthian 2:11-13

There are two main ways God is near to those who He favors/loves. Nearness in relationship (intellectually and spiritually), and nearness in participation in God’s supply (receiving all His benefits).

In both the section on Epistemology and Metaphysics we have already dealt in a broad way, definitions for how God and saints are close spiritually and intellectually. God is the original. God made man in His image. God in Jesus, truly makes man in His image, by giving them not only truth, but also His Spirit. By this man gets to know and communicate with God directly, in precision, immediately and intellectually.

The second part of God’s nearness, is something many churches have decided to make war against God. They wish to be the foundation of theology and dictate to God, what gospel accomplishments they want and others they wish to trample under their filthy feet. However, despite their protest, God is still the foundation of the gospel and Jesus’ victory from the grave is still available to those with faith. As with every war, this is one God will also win along with the saints, and those who oppose will be trampled under God’s foot as worthless trash.

Our passage says after being near to God in spirit and intellect (or the inner man), the result is another necessary nearness. It is a nearness of practical blessings and goodies (outer-man).

“..so we can know the wonderful things God has
freely given us.”

I will chase this point for a little bit, since it is denied. I will end up going over some points about salvation, which will be explored more in a later chapter.

Many at this point, foam at the mouth like demons, about a doctrine called, “already-but-not-yet.” They are correct in the strictest sense of the definition. There are some benefits of Jesus’ finished atonement and New Covenant that are available now, and some are later. For example, healing is for now, and a new transformed body, that does not need healing, is for later. So far, so good. However, I mostly see pastors and lay people use this doctrine to emphasize what we do not get now. The problem with this is that the Bible contradicts this emphasis. The prophets, apostles and Jesus Himself, used this doctrine to emphasize the super-abundance of what we get here and now! Thus I am in agreement with Vincent Cheung that this doctrine when mainly used, is a logical/exegetical fallacy.[1] It is sad to see the elites of orthodoxy, who boast of their knowledge and intellect, act like demons by turning a biblical doctrine into a convoluted fallacy.

The Psalmist said in Psalm 103 to remember how God gives you so much free forgiveness, goodies, blessings and helps. We are not to remember God’s benefits for person x over there, or remember them to be given to us in another place or another time; rather, we are to remember God’s benefits us now, in the land of the living, for us.  This is not a suggestion. These are precepts and commands; and thus, they are Christian ethics. God commands you to not forget all the ways He benefits you, today, in this place. He forgives you, He heals you, He provides prosperity to you, He delivers you, and gives you an abundance of good things. God gives to you freely and unearned. You do not give to God.

This is similar to how Jesus gives proof to John the Baptist that He is the Messiah who is bringing in the Kingdom of God. Not the Kingdom of God later, but now. He says, “healing, healing, healing, healing, resurrection and truth proclaimed.” That is, healing is a physical not invisible reality, such as forgiveness and a cleansed soul. It is a miraculous physical reality. As to resurrection, Jesus meant it, as a second time for a present tense physical reality.  Thus, Jesus’ Kingdom now is referred to by Jesus as “miraculous physical, miraculous physical, miraculous physical, miraculous physical, miraculous physical and truth (which is invisible/spiritual). Thus, those who overemphasize the now part of Jesus’ Kingdom as the invisible, spiritual realities are enemies of Jesus, because they are working against His Kingdom and command. They are rebellious and disobedient.

Vincent shows how even Jesus Christ Himself, rebuked this ‘already-not-yet’ fallacy, when people used this nonsense on Him.

When Jesus went to raise Lazarus from the dead, Martha said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” So the theologians tell us, “These things had happened in the past.” Jesus answered, “Your brother will rise again.” But Martha said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” So the theologians tell us, “These things will happen in the future.” Jesus answered, “I am the resurrection and the life.” The sisters applied the “already / not yet” principle on Jesus, but rather than displaying their theological education, it revealed their unbelief and ignorance. They did not even know Jesus very well. For Jesus, it is always a good time for a miracle. In the theology of Jesus, it is not a matter of time, but a matter of faith. He said to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” And Lazarus was raised from the dead.[2]

The new covenant is active because, as Hebrews says in chapter 9, the death of the tester makes the testament active. The new covenant is active for you here, and now. This eating at the lord’s table, is eating the benefit that God is our God, and we are His people. God takes the tab for this table. You do not give to God; God gives to you. God want you to know about this. He wants you to know what a great benefactor He is to you in Christ, today, here in this place.  By Christ, in faith, it is freely given to you. It is already yours in Christ. Receive and eat.

God’s table of His best benefits is not given to the reprobates or even to clean angels; rather, it is only given the people He is nearest to. To you. To His redeemed, beloved children.

Hebrews points out in more than one place that the result of “God’s Will,” (for us to be holy), is for us to approach His throne of grace and receive what we ask of Him

The first mention is in Hebrews 4. What is the application for knowing our high priest has redeemed us? The idea of having peace with God is the ability and position to approach God, in His throne room of grace, to ask and then to receive the help we are asking for. There is no way to spiritualize this away. It is about receiving what we are asking for.

Jesus, when talking about prayer to God, teaches us something that opposes eastern religions like Buddhism (etc.). Such paganistic religions teach us that even if we do not change God’s will in our prayer, we have changed inwardly for the better, by seeking God. People who say such things are spiritual perverts. They are deceived and blind. Jesus contradicts this superstition about prayer and God, by teaching us that God gives a fish for a fish, and the Spirit for the Spirit. Let Buddha be damned, and Jesus and His teaching be highly valued.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you, if his son will ask him for bread, will give him a stone? Or also if he will ask for a fish, will give him a snake? Therefore if you, although you* are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him? Matthew 7:7–11 (LEB)

Since it is God’s, and not man’s definition that a “good” God gives you the very thing you ask for, anyone who teaches otherwise is spouting a doctrine of demons. Some bark up like mad dogs that, “what if you ask for something bad?” So what? What does this logically have to do with what I am saying? This is not a relevant point, because James says if you ask God for evil things (“God help me murder this person”), then you are God’s “enemy,” and so prayer is the least of your concerns. Since I am addressing Christians or those who at least claim to be so, and not sworn enemies of God, I will ignore logically non-relevant points.

Back to Jesus. He says, if you ask in faith you will get what you ask for. Jesus even says this in more than one way, in case we missed it. What Jesus is doing here with prayer, is the same He is doing throughout the “Sermon on the Mount.” You have heard it said “do not murder your brother, but I say to you, do not do it, even in your heart.” When Jesus teaches on judging people, His point presupposes that you are able to judge your brother, and to do it without hypocrisy. You do this by removing the wood from your own eye first. Some morons say, “you cannot judge without hypocrisy or bias”; yet, Jesus contradicts this in His sermon. He teaches the true ethical standard God demands for judging, and He expects His disciples to do it. It is good news to see in the new covenant, God promising to give us ethical power, “I will write my laws in your hearts.”

In this context of Jesus repeatedly correcting the low opinion of people’s thinking on God’s commands and standards, Jesus talks about “prayer and faith.” Thus, when we see Jesus saying, “if you ask God in faith, you get the very thing you ask for,” then we can infer the presupposition behind it, at least in the broad sense; and so, Jesus’ teaching is in opposition to the people’s low opinion of what they think prayer and faith should accomplish. It seems little has changed in 2000 years, for who can find a person who values and does prayer the way Jesus demands it? The Jews had a perverted and low view of prayer. From the Mount, Jesus corrects their error and describes the true ethical standard that God commands about faith. Whatever the low valuation of prayer the Jews had, it was not to the standard of, “if you ask in faith, you will get what you ask for.”  Jesus is expecting and demanding, (just like He demands us to not even lust in our hearts after another woman), to pray and get what we pray for.  Jesus in essence says, “You have heard it said, if its God’s will, then you might get what you pray for. But I say to you, It is God’s Will for prayer, if you ask in faith, you will get the very thing you ask for, because God is the good Father.” This is the type of Being we are dealing with. You must deal with Him and not someone else. Do you know Him?

Back to the two passages in Hebrews.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most,”
(NLT Heb 4:16).

Next, after several chapters of doctrine and theology about how Jesus accomplished salvation, Hebrews 10, starting in verse 19 gives us the conclusion or result.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.

And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise,”
(Hebrews 10:19–23 NLT)

This is said as an application for learning how Jesus as the high priest of eternal power, has destroyed our sin and already made the New Covenant active in His blood.

In “context” of Hebrews 4 defining approaching God’s throne, as getting answers to our prayers for help, it therefore, does not mean the opposite in Hebrews10:19-23. The end says, “for God can be trusted to Keep His promise.” The promise that He will not remember our sins, and that He will be our God, who lovingly gives us help when we ask for it. The emphasis is on two points here by the preacher. One is the category fact or truths. You are holy in Jesus right now. You are beloved and stand before God, without Him remembering your sins against you.[3]

The second, is that you stand firm, believing these truths. You stand believing you are categorically holy, righteous and a child of God. That you believe you can boldly walk into heaven and push the door of God’s throne room open, and then you ask like a beloved son, for Him to help you. And that you stand believing He is the Good Father as He defined Himself to be in His word, so that He will indeed give you bread for bread.  The first part is always true, due to Christ’s finished work, whether or not a particular Christian has weak faith about it. However, if one has strong, unmoving faith about Jesus’ finished work, then truly you stand before God and He will answer your prayers.

The point is that Scripture makes the logical (or necessary) connection from Jesus’ atonement that makes us holy, to boldly going to God and getting “fish for fish, healing for a healing,” when we pray for help. Because the connection is not merely sufficient but necessary, then it is a “modus ponens” logical connection. If Jesus made you holy by His body, then you necessarily have access to boldly receive the things you ask for in faith.

If these two are necessarily connected, and they are according to Hebrews, Jesus and the apostles, then the logic of modus tollens applies. That is, if you deny the consequent you deny the antecedent. If you negate the application, you negate the foundation. If you negate getting our requests answered at God’s throne, then you negate being made holy by Jesus’ body. Novices play with the Bible like its play-dough. Their pet theories and traditions are not harmless when they make mistakes. They condemn themselves and turn the body of Christ into spiritual trash, in order to be fanboys of the past.

So to summarize, Hebrews knows no gospel that does not bring a person who is already perfected and “holy” to the throne of God, to ask and receive what they ask for. “God’s will,” is thrown around much today, but rarely do I see it used how the Scripture uses it. The preacher says it was “God’s Will,” to make us holy; however, we learn more. There was a pre-determined point why God desired to make us holy and perfected. The necessary result (or a previous in order Decree of God) is a person who by faith (who assents they have been made ‘holy’), stands at God’s throne, to ask and receive what they ask for. The conclusion is obvious, it is “God’s Will” for you to stand in faith, with your head held high, before His throne, to ask and receive a fish for a fish, mercy for mercy, son for a son, health for health, wisdom for wisdom, wealth for wealth, inner strength for inner strength, protection for protection in your time of need. To say this is “not God’s will,” is to logically say it is “not God’s will” for us to be made holy by the body of Jesus Christ.

Many educated people feel proud of their intellect and academia, but in their fanboy affirmation of the past—such things as cessationism and things like “only if it is God’s will” (negating God’s promises)—they expose themselves as plus ultra perverts. They think they know logic and knowledge; however, deductive logic, like math and truth, is not flexible. They try to bend the sword of truth to pervert it; however, they only end up impaled on it. Leave these voodoo practitioners, and return to standing firm in the truth that you are holy, and standing before the throne of grace. God made the world and defines His world as He wants. His Word defines you as already a holy child, who when you ask for help, then you will get the type of help you asked for. God is near to you, and you are near to Him. You are so near to God that you are sitting at His table. If you want some bread, reach for it. If you want some meat, then get a piece.

“In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”

For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
( Corin. 11:25-26).

What does this proclaiming His “death,” mean in relation to Jesus saying the New Contract is “an agreement confirmed in my blood”?

Think about Hebrews 9 where this connection is made:

Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead.  The will goes into effect only after the person’s death.

…Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you. (Heb 9;16-17, 20)

So, in the Lord’s supper we are proclaiming the new contract, by a death in blood, that is made active. Once there is death/blood it is active at the moment, not later. In the previous chapter, Hebrew 8, he says the new contract in addition to saying we are forgiven, says “I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Thus, this is already active by the death of the Tester, Jesus.

This phraseology in the Bible, is always about God blessing and prospering the inner and outer man.

Consider Lev. 26

“I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. 10 You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest! 11 I will live among you, and I will not despise you. 12 I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high.” (NLT)

The death of Jesus not only is a negative, where our sins, sickness, poverty, abandonment and stupidity were transferred off of us, and conveyed onto Jesus, where he carried them away from us to the place of the skull. Jesus death, because it makes active the new covenant is also positive. It makes God our God, and we become His people.  This is always defined as God blessing the whole man in all areas of life.  This is active now, not later.  Jesus’ death has already put the new covenant into play. God is already ours as our beloved God, and we are already God’s.

Reading how the Bible at the beginning defines terms is important. God first defines what “I will be your God and you My People,” to Abraham (Genesis 15:1 “… I am your shield, and your reward shall be very great.” Genesis 17:7-8,”…I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. …I will be their God.”). This promise to “be God to Abraham and his descendants” conveys spiritual blessings for being counted righteous for his faith, getting future promises, and much health, prosperity and favor in Abraham’s lifetime.

This will be explored more later, but Paul says in Galatians that miracles and the gift of the Holy Spirit (most likely referring to the baptism of the Spirit) is part of the Covenant of Abraham. Paul says, Jesus’ atonement grafts gentiles into this blessing of Abraham. Therefore, miracles, in the majority mode, is not to confirm Jesus (which is only a minority use of miracles) but God being faithful to perform the ancient blood oath to Abraham. Doing something to “prove” a future contract you intend to make (a sign), and performing an action that you are already bound by contract to perform, are two different categories.  For those who are savvy with logic, will see the implication of this. So what if the miracles for signs have ceased? Who cares? Miracles and the Power of the Spirit, (and the presupposition is that these are a common thing for the Galatian church, and those in Paul’s ministry) is part of the blood oath to Abraham. Has God negated His promise to Abraham? Then this majority mode of miracles and the power of the Spirit, as a common experience for Abraham’s descendants, is still active. Thus, if a church does not reflect what Paul teaches here, they are not spiritual descendants of Abraham. They do not have Abraham’s faith. They have not inherited Abraham’s blessing of miracles and the Spirit. They are damned and reprobates.

Leviticus 26 gives a summary of this same definition, as contained in the Mosaic Covenant; or as Paul says in Galatians, in the temporary covenant or tutor. The point to remember is that Jesus fulfilled this Mosaic covenant for us. In the gospel of Christ, we are unmeritedly and undeservedly credited as if we performed the stipulations of righteousness of Mosaic covenant.

This is a shadow of the New. That is, what you see here (lev.26) is much more so in the new blood oath, by Jesus Christ. The freedom from the slavery of Egypt in the New Contract, is about us being freed from sin. Freedom from the conscience of sin and from Satan’s oppressive accusations. God remembers them no more against us. So much so, we can march in the throne room of heaven to ask from God what we wish, “with our heads held high.” But that is just one part of “God being our God, and we being His people.” As being freed from Egypt is the foundation for the other blessings, so too within the New Covenant.

God’s promise is NOT blessing them with surplus crops in Egypt, but in the promise land. Their blessings awaited them in the promised land, not in Egypt. They needed freedom from the yoke of slavery first. Jesus does this for us in the New Contract. He frees us from sin and its guilt, so that He has a righteous foundation to lavish all His other blessings. Our promise land is not so much a place, for it is foundationally being brought near to God. The best land is nearest to God. There is however, a place for Jesus’ throne, and yet, the scripture says we have already (past tense) been raised and set with Jesus at God’s right hand. In 1 John 3 he goes so far as to command us to keep our thoughts where our lives are at, and our lives are not on earth, but are already hidden in Jesus, who is at the Power’s right hand. Thus, even if one wishes to make the promise land heaven, our lives are there. God is the foundation of theology and reality, and He considers us already with His Son. That is the only important point for us. So what, if you feel distant? What does that have to do with anything. Man is not the foundation of theology and reality; God is the foundation. He considers you as already with His Son, and therefore, you are.

John also says in chapter 4 that “as Jesus is, so are we in this world.” Jesus with awesome power, frees us from the law and Satan’s oppressive accusations against us. Now, He gives us a surplus of the Holy Spirit for miracles and healings; which is to say, since we are already in the promise land through Christ, Christ therefore, pours the promise land’s and kingdom’s power into us on earth, by the Spirit. Paul even says Jesus became poor for us, so that we might become rich, by His substitutionary death (in context it is decisively about money). Thus, Jesus multiplies our bank accounts and barns, because, in Jesus, our lives are already connected to the promise land. Our lives are even connected right up next to the Power, because our lives are connected to the valuable Person who sits at the Power’s right hand. If the blessings were so great in the Old Contract, then much more, when the Promise Land we are connected to now, is the true heavenly one! He pours over us an ocean of unmerited favor that is all for the taking by faith. How could someone be so depraved, so as to despise the oath of God, confirmed by the blood of His Son?

You cannot talk about “God’s Will,” and make it to be whatever you want it to be. If the Scripture makes certain effects as necessary connections, then the logic of modus ponens and modus tollens are now in play. Hebrews, as with other Scriptures make approaching God’s throne, to get the yes for your prayers, a necessary connection to God’s Will that made you holy. If you negate the consequence you negate the antecedent, which is the atonement.

“For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.”

MADE holy. This causality is God’s doing, and it is His promise. To be holy relative to or “before God,” is more than not being punished. In Ephesians 1 it says holy and “beyond reproach.” This means we are perfectly moral and flawlessly ethical before God, so much so, we are beyond even the hint of an accusation against the demand for absolute perfection. By the body of Jesus, this is now our reality, “BEFORE GOD.” Even if our sanctification is not perfect, it is a non-logical point, because God considers you holy and righteous before Him. And God is not fickle or emotional like man. He promised to treat you as holy and righteous, not something else. Thus, He interacts and treats you as perfectly and morally righteous. However, our holiness and righteousness by the body of Jesus, which we have now, is a God-level holiness, because it was performed by Jesus Christ and freely given to us. Our position with God is not us standing somewhere in the back corner of God’s throne room or somewhere even farther; rather, our position NOW, is with Christ at God’s right hand. Do you understand the position you have now in Christ and before the Power?

Christ being at God’s right hand, presently enjoys and partakes of the goodness that rightfully belongs to being in that position. Yet, we are now with Christ! Thus, to be made holy by Jesus, is to be a partaker of the holy God, now.

To be made holy is similar to how Paul said that we were made righteous in Christ in Romans 5:19.

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man,
the many were made sinners,
so also through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous (LEB).”

By God’s sovereign control over His own creation, He authored and caused Adam to sin, and then by this He caused all mankind to be made into sinners by His direct and absolute causality. But the reverse is also true, but much more. God sent His Son and by His righteousness (holiness) God caused the elect to be made righteous. God is sovereign. Man has no free choice relative to God’s control on the ultimate level. God without asking humanity, and humanity not being free from God’s causality, made them sinners. Then God made some of them into His righteousness. However, there is even more to this sovereign control of God. In the New Covenant, God, without our consent and without us not being free to do otherwise, also made Himself to “be our God” and “made us to be His people.”  This New Contract is a packaged deal. If you negate one part, then you negate the rest.

To see what this means, consider the woman bent over for 18 years. Jesus said, because she was a daughter of Abraham it was “necessary” for God to heal His daughter. God was God to Abraham, and Abraham was God’s people. This is why Abraham was victorious when he defeated the 5 kingdoms and was blessed by Melchizedek, and why the other non-people of God were defeated. To be a true child of Abraham, means God is your God. We are so today in Christ (Galatians 3). This is a categorical truth. Recall an earlier comment about logical connections. A logical connection is only about “necessary” connections; logic is not about sufficient ones, for there is no valid inference with only sufficient connections.  Thus, Jesus said it was “necessary” for God to heal this woman, and not merely a good or sufficient reason. If God promises to be your God and you are part of His family, it is “necessary” for Him to benefit you with the goodness He promised.

This is what it means for “God to be your God, and You His people,” in the new covenant; and if you are a Christian, you partake of this benefit now. This is how the Bible over and over, defines what nearness to God means. If you do not know this you do not have nearness to God, or you are just really bad at being a child of God.

Not in another place, or in a different time, but here and now, “God is our God, and we are His people.” Act like it. Receive from your Father’s table. If God put you at His table (i.e. in Christ at God’s right hand) then it is God’s Will for you to partake of the fatness of His table. God is not a demon. God does not put you at His table, and then make you watch others enjoy a good meal, while you starve. David did not bring Mephibosheth to his table to torture him, like a demon, by making him watch but not partake. Mephibosheth sat at David’s table to enjoy the free supply of David’s bounty. You have heard it said that God disciplines His legitimate children, and this is true; however, the other side of the coin is also true. Taking food from your Father’s table is necessary for you to prove you are His legitimate child. Illegitimate children cannot ask and get what they want from God. You, take and eat. This is what the sovereign God has done. This is the type of Being He is. These things already belong to you.  It is His will, that you ask and receive what you ask for, knowing God is your God and you are His holy beloved child.  It’s God’s will that you behave like legitimate children and receive from your Father, who is NEAR to His children in spiritual and material benefits.

Through the atonement of Jesus, God is near to us in power, supply, blessings, healings, and “yes” to all our prayers, made in faith.

We will sum up this section with our systematic theology maximum. God is the foundation of theology, not man, not something else. God defines His nearness as intellectual and (inward) spiritual, as much as He does material, with the whole life of man blessed with His benefits.

ENDNOTES——————-

[1] Vincent Cheung. “The Already / Not Yet Fallacy.” Found in TRACE. 2018. Chapter 2.

[2] Vincent Cheung. The Already not Yet Fallacy.  From, “Trace,” 2018, chapter 2, page 8-9.

[3] God is all-knowing, so and it is not that God has spiritual forgetfulness; rather, God has a policy of thought and promise not to apply the consequence against you. He already did that on His beloved Son, Jesus. That is, for all practical, not intellectually knowing, purposes, God does not remember your sins.

Question about God’s displeasure in the death of the sinner.

As Vincent Cheung points out about the chess game analogy in, ‘There is no Real Synergism,’ the player is ultimate level ontology and piece to piece is relative level ontology.[1]

The piece to piece relation to each other on basis of the rules of the game, is like a person relating to the world on their ability to adhere to God’s command.

The Bible often speaks on the relative level, for example, in how person x relates to God’s commandment. Do they obey or disobey it? God’s command is His reveled definition for man, made in His image. When man interacts with God’s command and obeys God, this is the relative level. In this relative level context as it relates to God’s command. God does not command for the death of the wicked. It is God’s command for them to repent and obey Him. If it was God’s will/command, for them to die, He would command them to die. He commanded them to live. In other words, “It’s not my command for you to die, so don’t do it. I have commanded you to live. Thus, obey me.”

What God commands, and what He ultimately causes are two different things. The first category is ethics: God’s command. The next two categories are about ontology. The first is relative level ontology, which is said from man’s point of view as they interact with God’s command, or lack thereof. The last category is the ultimate level ontology. God’s ultimate design for the reprobate is for them to die as sinners and by this magnify the value of grace given to His elect (Romans 9:22-24). So in the ultimate or only real level of causality, God’s decree/will is the death of the wicked, as it was planned by God to support showing off His grace to the Elect. In this light, God both commanded, and then, used His command to distinguish the Elect and Reprobate. God causes the reprobate to fail on the command and causes this to magnify how He causes the Elect to obey/fulfill the command in Christ.

Endnotes——————-

[1] See also, Commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians 2008. Pg 108
and Satanic Oppression