Category Archives: Systematic Philosophy

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Judgment OR Salvation

In the scripture the terms “salvation” and “deliverance” have similar meanings, but not the same. Deliverance usually is in the context of judging an enemy to rescue someone out of slavery and trouble. This is seen in Israel crossing the Red Sea and the Egyptians were drowned in it. Salvation includes this, but it also means more (Heb. 9:28). On this judgement aspect the two terms are interchangeable.

When Jesus mentions in John 16 that the Holy Spirit “correct the world about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged,” this is what we mean by deliverance. Judgement is referring to all aspects of power and command that belongs to a ruling king. Salvation is this and the addition of His positive works of righteousness freely given (Romans 5) and positive blessings given to us by His Contract in blood (Hebrews 8).

Jesus executes judgement on Satan by binding him up and blundering his house.

“But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters,” (Matthew 12:28-30 NIV). (see Acts 10:38, Heb. 2:10-14, Colossians 2:15)

Jesus is the caption of salvation for His chosen ones. Satan is the chief enemy against Jesus’ kingdom, and thus, the King must deal with Satan to show His power. Jesus does this. Jesus removes the dominion of Satan and replaces it with His dominion. This is Jesus’ judgment and deliverance. The Holy Spirit corrects the souls of men about this, because they have sided with Satan against the Kingdom of God. Satan is defeated; his kingdom is weakening. Soon he, and all who align with his rule, will be thrown into hell. But Jesus’ kingdom will last forever and ever, amen.

In Satan’s dominion, his law was a law of accusation, bondage, and fear. Jesus defeated this. He obtains His Kingdom by war and conquest. Jesus bound, plundered, and casts out Satan; He neutered his power and accusations against His chosen ones. Jesus came to earth and by His power, even power showed in sacrifice, defeated Satan in battle. Jesus is a mighty warrior. The devil defied the saints of God. Jesus with one stone, killed Satan and cut off his head. In Jesus’ atonement and resurrection, it was 100 times truer, “Today the whole world will know there is a God in Israel.”

“Now is the time for judgment on this world;
now the prince of this world will be driven out.”
John 12:31

In Jesus’ dominion, He rules with the law of unmerited favor and sonship. The Father has transferred us from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 2:13). These additional super blessings of being sons of God, even co-heirs with Jesus and being highly favored by God and not merely forgiven and in a neutral standing with God, is the fuller meaning of “salvation.” The word salvation can mean just judgement or the fuller meaning depending on context. David often used salvation as God both delivering him, and setting his feet in a good and prosperous place. Jesus does this for all His saints through His atonement.

The substitutionary atonement of Jesus is both a deliverance in power and a substitutionary exchange were Jesus gives us His righteousness and highly favored status. Thus, the finished atonement of Jesus is the fuller meaning of salvation.

I Reserved 7000 Who Have Not Bowed to Empiricism

They only problem with handling adult doctrines like God’s Sovereignty, predestination, election, reprobation is if you are a child you will end up hurting yourself and those around you. I remember Vincent Cheung saying something like this several years ago and it keeps repeating itself to be true in my encounters with church people.

When knowledge does not increase a person’s faith, it only increases his ability to pretend. Just because someone takes it upon himself to handle an “adult” doctrine does not mean that he is mature spiritually and intellectually. You can let an infant drive a car, but he will probably crash it. Putting him in the driver’s seat does not make him an adult. Likewise, most theologians are spiritual kids, although they handle adult doctrines. They are just pretending. They play around with divine sovereignty, the covenants, the history of redemption, and so on, but when they drive — when they formulate, teach, and implement these doctrines — they wreck faith. [1]

I had another brief conversation with person (we will call them Billy) about faith and healing. I was sharing some verses about faith and healing and encouraging them to grow their faith. I specifically commented on the fact that faith in God’s promises (whether for salvation or healing) always guarantees you will receive what you ask for.

I was quoting from John 15:7-8,

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you,

ask whatever YOU want and it will be done for you.

My Father is glorified by this:

that you bear much fruit,

and prove to be MY disciples.”

Not only does it say you will get what “YOU” want (it does not say what GOD wants but what “YOU” want), but Jesus Christ says answers to prayers (for the things “YOU WANT”) is a test of orthodoxy. Jesus says it “proves” you are a disciple if you pray for what “you” want and God gives this to you.

Why is this? Because only insiders of the Covenant can do this. Outsiders do not have this access to the Father. Jesus Christ gives a test of orthodoxy that cannot be mimicked or faked. Only children are able to ask for anything they want, and the Father give it to them.  Reprobates and outsiders to the covenant do not have this precious access or life.

It is the same type of proof that Jesus gave for Himself as the Son of man. The religious fakes and fanboys would wash the outside of the cup, and thus fake this aspect to give proof they are part of the Elect. However, because they are in fact reprobates, they cannot do the true proof of orthodoxy, which is faith. Faith gives direct access to God and proves you are part of the Elect. Jesus gave proof that God heard His prayers, and by this He proved He had the Father’s approval. This proof was not something He did by His own power, but God gave Him the fullness of the Spirit (which we are also commanded to receive) and gave Him the things He asked for in prayer. Jesus therefore, gave proof that the insider status He had with God was of the closest type. Jesus said more than once we ought to believe He is who He claims to be, because of His miracles. And guess what, God commands that we also do something similar to prove we are insiders. He commands His followers, receive answered prayers for miracles as proof they are Elect and not reprobates who are thrown into the fire. He demands a type of proof reprobates cannot mimic.

Apart from this “proof” of discipleship, the precious truth we see is how intimate our Contract insider status is. God so loves us, so considers us as children who sits at His table with Him, that we can ask for what WE want and God will gladly give it to us. The Father sent His only begotten Son, to be crucified in agony and torn apart with scourging; He points His finger at Jesus’ bloody corpse and says, “I will do what I promise.” He goes beyond all measure to give extra assurance that He will do what He promises. He promises to give us what we ask for. Think about how loving and kind God is to us. How loyal is His unmerited favor for those whom He loves!

Billy responded with this:

“Where are all these miracles?
I do not see them.
If what you are saying I true,
then no one is saved.”

In my mind the first thought that came up was, “you David Hume Empiricist prostitute, you spiritual adulterer and spiritual pervert. You have whored yourself to the world at the most fundamental level of your worldview, and rejected God.”

Knowing this person considered themselves “Reformed,” I responded with how God Himself dealt with a similar accusation. First Paul says in Romans chapter 9 that when calculating what we can observe humanly (i.e. empiricism and induction) it could infer that God has failed to save His people. But Paul says God has not failed, because He only promised to bless those who are part of the promise by election, and not by natural birth of being a Jew.  An excessive amount of reprobates does not negate God’s promise to save those whom He elected.

Paul then brings up the example of Elijah and God, as an example. Elijah is a major player in Israel. He is well known. He has been around. He seen and done much in Israel. After all he has been through, he becomes discouraged and says to God that he is the only believer left in Israel.  Like I said, Elijah isn’t some small farmer who has never been anywhere. He as known and see many things in Israel. Thus, from a human evaluation standpoint, he has more credibility than most to make an inductive, albeit irrational conclusion from his observation. He concludes that he is the only one left who believes God. He asserts this conclusion, based on his empiric observation and inductive conclusion to God as a fact. God turns around and rebukes Elijah. God tells Elijah that He has kept for Himself 7000 people who have remained faithful to Him. This is in context of Romans 9, where God says before people are born, or do good or bad, He choses to hate one or love the other, in accordance to His own free choice of election and reprobation.

 “God has not rejected his people, whom he foreknew! Or do you not know, in the passage about Elijah, what the scripture says—how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have torn down your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life!” But what does the divine response say to him? “I have left for myself seven thousand people who have not bent the knee to Baal.” So in this way also at the present time, there is a remnant selected by grace,” Romans 11:2-5.

This same answer God gave to Elijah, Paul says it true in his day, and is also true for today.

Thus, when someone says, “I do not see all these miracles and answers to prayers (like Jesus stated and commanded, John 15:7-8)), thus, there are none, and yet I know God will save people, thus what Jesus said cannot mean what it obviously means,” they are acting just as irrational, arrogant as Elijah. God’s rebuke to Elijah is applicable here to. God has reversed for Himself 7,000, or 70,000,000 million for Himself who have not bowed their knee to empiricism (Baal) and rejected Jesus’ command for answered prayers. Despite what Elijah can observe and calculate, what God says is the only starting point for knowledge. God is true when He says there is a remnant according to Election, and Elijah was a liar and false witness against the truth. His false witness against the truth was based off his human empiricism and inductive conclusion.

So what if you do not see and overabundance of answered prayers and miracles? Even if it means there are an excessive amount of reprobates in the church, just like with Paul and the Jews, it does not mean God as failed. It means the reprobates failed to be insiders because of their lack of faith, and the rest, probably because you are a reprobated yourself, you are not around enough to see God’s power working.

Religious fanboys and reformed like to use the doctrine of election and reprobation, but this doctrine is an adult doctrine and so is wasted on children like themselves. This doctrine of reprobation is pointed at their face like a gun, which they are holding. They will hurt themselves and those around them when they use it. Maybe the reason they use the word reprobate so much is because they are reprobates and simply like the word, by God’s providence.

I love God’s providence, because I do not reject have the bible. As Vincent Cheung points out in “Predestination and Miracles,” I am predestined for miracles. But you outsiders of the Covenant, just because you narrowly understand some aspects of God’s sovereignty and reprobation, does not save you from being one.  Just because Satan can teach you about some aspects of Hell, does not save him from being imprisoned there. Maybe he knows about it because he is understands first hand what it is be God’s enemy and under His punishment.

If you are a true disciple, you will whole heartily have faith for all of God’s commands, promises and sovereign faithfulness. Those who have been
“born from above” do not make excuses for their lack of faith if they struggle; rather, they cry out like the father seeking deliverance for his son, “help my unbelief.” The Elect will seek and find stronger faith. They are real disciples, who grown in faith, rather than in unbelief. They progress forward, rather than shrinking back.  They are true insiders; therefore, the Spirit speaks in their souls, “you are a child of God, and so ask! and you will receive. Approach your Father, for He loves you.”

Starting Point for Knowledge.

The other aspect of this person’s response is rejection of God at the deepest level of one’s worldview.  That is, when dealing with the ultimate question of knowledge (I am using knowledge here as truth), what is the STARTING or first principle where you get this knowledge? Every other ultimate question, whether about existence, causality, ethics, value, history, man salvation etc., will come from this starting point of knowledge. To say it is important is an understatement.

The Reformed like to mock the Catholics for boasting about their dual starting point for knowledge with the addition of the Pope. But what is the Pope? He is a man. When the Pope gives additions to the Scripture it is from empiricism (which is a logical fallacy) and then mostly will have addition fallacies of induction in other forms. The terms for these are speculation (for empiricism) and superstition (for any form of inductive logic).  The key point for both is a “man,” starting point for knowledge. In this epistemology man does not start with God’s revelation, but with man. Man, through fallacious empiricism, somehow miraculous get knowledge from observation. Man then uses superstitious induction to formulate a premise to then deduce from. But sense this premise is formulated by speculation and superstition, then applying the logic of deduction cannot rescue it from being non-knowledge. It is a “man” starting point of knowledge versus a God starting point of knowledge that is revealed and not sensed. As Jesus said to Peter, “flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father has.”

Just by the simple calculation of logic, empiricism is demonstrated as irrational. And so, as a starting point of knowledge it is ontologically impossible.[2]

However, since the Scripture is my starting point, what does this infallible epistemology say about empiricism? Vincent Cheung, first brought these verses to my attention.

Commenting on 2 Kings 3:16-24[3] he says,

“What did the Moabites see – blood or water? The Moabites thought they saw blood, but their senses deceived them. We know that they saw water that looked like blood because this is what the infallible testimony of Scripture says. Thus the passage points out that the senses are unreliable, and shows that we depend on divine inspiration to tell us about particular instances of sensations.”[4]

Vincent also lists John 12:28-29, Matthew 14:25-27, and Matthew 28:16-17.

Even though these are only a few instances of a Divine testimony of empiricism (knowledge starts with sensation) being wrong, it is enough to trash the whole thing into skepticism.

To show the importance of this, then consider if I were able to show just one instance where the Scripture was false. For example, what if it were false that Jesus was born in Israel, but rather born in South Asia? The issue is that it would cast doubt on the rest of the premises in the Scripture. The problem is not that any premise would definitely be wrong; rather, there would be no infallible mechanism to demonstrate how any given premise of Scripture is true. It would trash the whole bible (as a starting point for knowledge) into skepticism. The issue here, is that skepticism denies the law of non-contradiction; and thus, ontologically impossible.

If invisible knowledge comes by sensation is true, then where is the justification? Where is the sound argument to prove it?

To have a picture in the mind of Mt. St. Helens is a copy of it(2); it is not the actual Mountain(1). That is one category, and then another. In addition to this is another categorical leap; that is, to think propositional thoughts about(3) the indirect copy(2) of the real Mt. St. Helens(1). There is no logical justification for these 2 categorical leaps between premises and conclusion. In essence, the syllogism is like saying, “All dogs are mammals. All blue things are color. Therefore, All humans are clouds.” There is no more justification for that syllogism than saying the propositional thoughts in an invisible mind, about the picture copy in my physical brain, is knowledge about the real Mt. St. Helens. Both are playing with categorical reality as if it is play-dough. That might work to sell Fantasy novels, but not so much when asking questions about the reality we live in.

This has been said to demonstrate that our only starting point for knowledge is God. Any starting point that starts with “man,” leads to skepticism, but skepticism is logically impossible and does not exist. All human starting points of knowledge does not exist, except in delusion and fantasy.

Most Christians know this without me having to go into all this technical explanation of it. But when reprobates infiltrate the Church, and deceive people, we need to give a detailed and harsh rebuke to them.

Most will say something like, “the Bible is our final authority.” But what I am saying here is a more foundational statement. I start with the Bible as my only public first principle for knowledge, and only the bible. If you ‘say x’ is knowledge, and cannot show it came directly from the bible or deduces from it, then it is by definition not knowledge you can prove.

Therefore, when the Bible says if I have in God’s only Son to save me from my sin and confess it, then it a truth claim about reality. It is not a probability. It is a truth that will always be sure, and reliable. If Billy says, “well I have seen some Christians who have renounced their faith and now worship Satan. Therefore, the bible is wrong, or people do not understand what the bible says. What the bible really means is that one can have faith in God to be saved and God will still reject them hell.”

The problem with this is at the foundational level. Billy used a “human” starting point to produced so-called knowledge. Then uses this as a higher authority against the Bible, by making the Bible adjust its meaning to this knowledge produced by a human starting point of empiricism and induction. The problem with this that all human starting points to produce knowledge is nothing but speculation and superstition. No knowledge is produced when starting with a human epistemology, not even with things such as what is “tree” or what is a “dog.”

Most Christians hearing what Billy did with this aspect of faith and salvation would be alarmed; they would at least, have a vague idea Billy is using a human starting point to reject what the Bible clearly says about faith and salvation. But when it comes to faith for answered prayers and faith to be healed, then suddenly many Christians revert to using a human starting point for knowledge as if they are a 50 year grand master chess player. They revert to using of empiricism and induction as if they were world champions. They would make David Hume and the Pope blush in envy. If only they could stand on human starting points as reflexively as some Christians do, then maybe they could have brough more over to the side of Satan.

If falling on empiricism to produce knowledge is sooooo natural and reflexive, then it is a good chance, it is your true master and foundation. If you do not start with God for knowledge, how do you suppose you will conclude with His revelation? You will not of course.

If you read Jesus saying that if His words abide in you and you in Him, then you ask whatever you wish and God will give it to you, and you must start with this knowledge and no contradict it. Obviously you cannot just the Scripture to contradict this because it and Jesus say over and over if you have faith, (whether for salvation, healing or whatever you wish), you will have it. Jesus says it is what “YOU” want.

If there is a wrong place for YOU, then it starting with YOU when producing knowledge. If you use YOU to produce the knowledge that “what Jesus says over and over is not what He means, but what Jesus meant is you can ask in faith and God will still reject it,” then you are a reprobate, or at least on this point you are playing the part of one. To revert and say, “I do not see.., or I observe.., or the church fathers did not see or observe,” then you are nothing less than a plagiarized rehashed Pope. You are a spiritual pervert that the foundation level of knowledge. You do not start with God to get truth, you start with YOU. You have used speculation and superstition no less in proportion than some shaman observing the moon and concluding ‘x’ or ‘y.’

Why do people do this. First, this is now reprobates think. They are only doing what is natural for then. Apart from the Scripture as a starting point, all others (including all non-Christian religions) revert to using a human starting point is some way.  Thus, it is natural for reprobates to show their true human foundation when they find things in the Bible they do not like or makes they feel uncomfortable. Secondly, to hide their human starting point they will mock other obvious reprobates with human starting points such as the Pope. They do this to hide their human starting point in the shadow of the more obvious ones. They say solo Scriptura, but this is just a slight of hand to say, sola empiricism. Thirdly, like human approval and because it is natural for reprobates to start with a human epistemology other reprobates will be attracted to them and give them praise, approval and money.

If you are truly not a reprobate, but are only playing the part due to spiritual immaturity, then repent now while you still have a chance.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed. God is willing to forgive and restore. He will do what He promise. If you ask in faith for God to forgive, He will. If you are an insider to His love and covenant, then ask and receive, because He wants you to. He commanded that you do it, because He wanted the situation where you ask and He gives. God wanted this. You do not have beg.

Because of God’s promises, which He sovereignly wanted to make, and the Contacts He made in blood, God willfully made it so that it is necessary for Him to hear your prays in faith and give you what you want, whether spiritual or material. Jesus said it was “necessary” for the daughter of Abraham, (who was bent over for 18 years) to be healed on the Sabbath. The word for “necessary” here is like saying 5+5 necessarily equals 10. That is, 5+5=10 is not just a sufficient or good reason, it is a necessary one. Jesus says because she is an insider to God’s love and covenant it is “necessary” for God to heal her.

Jesus with perfection stood on God’s Word as His knowledge, and those who follow Him will do the same.

And this woman, who is a daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan bound eighteen long years—
is it not necessary
that she be released from this bond on the day of the Sabbath?”
(Luke 13:16 LEB)

Endnotes

[1] Vincent Cheung. Faith Override. From the ebook, Sermonettes Vol. 9. 2016.

[2] Even the secular philosopher David Hume admitted as much about his starting point of empiricism leading to skepticism.

[3] While the harp was being played, the power of the Lord came upon Elisha, 16 and he said, “This is what the Lord says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! 17 You will see neither wind nor rain, says the Lord, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. 18 But this is only a simple thing for the Lord, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab! 19 You will conquer the best of their towns, even the fortified ones. You will cut down all their good trees, stop up all their springs, and ruin all their good land with stones.”

20 The next day at about the time when the morning sacrifice was offered, water suddenly appeared! It was flowing from the direction of Edom, and soon there was water everywhere.

21 Meanwhile, when the people of Moab heard about the three armies marching against them, they mobilized every man who was old enough to strap on a sword, and they stationed themselves along their border. 22 But when they got up the next morning, the sun was shining across the water, making it appear red to the Moabites—like blood. 23 “It’s blood!” the Moabites exclaimed. “The three armies must have attacked and killed each other! Let’s go, men of Moab, and collect the plunder!”

[4] Vincent Cheung. Presuppositional Confrontations. 2010. Pg 70. www.vincentcheung.com

I Am your Exceedingly Great Reward, Righteousness

I Am your Exceedingly Great Reward, Righteousness

[This is a first draft on the introduction to my Soteriology section, from my up coming systematic theology book.]

Let me introduce you to the doctrine of righteousness, as the Scripture introduces it, and not how tradition does it. There is some historical reasons why “justification by faith,” is stated as it is, but that is just it, it’s not stated how Scripture does it. Let that sink it. Because of this, the doctrine is often distorted, sometime beyond recognition.  The Reformed are found of their doctrine, justification by faith, but this is a narrow doctrine—in scope of the whole gospel—albite a very important one. Their fanboyish love for man and the past, has led them to take this doctrine, which is like a priceless beautiful rug, and soiled like a dog using it to marks its territory. Let us rather, learn this doctrine how the bible itself introduces it, and expands on it. Let us not define such important doctrines such as the gospel, by man’s love for man, and history; rather, through submitting to the scripture as our only starting point for knowledge, let us learn the definitions of reality. “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path,” (Psalm 119:105 NLT).

Romans 4 (NLT)

The Faith of Abraham

4 Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? 2 If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. 3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

4 When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. 5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. 6 David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous[1] without working for it:

7 “Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sins are put out of sight.
8 Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

9 Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith. 10 But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? Clearly, God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised!

11 Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. 12 And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, [but on God declaring one righteous because of their faith].[2] 14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. 15 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.

18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.

20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

Let us review what God promised to Abraham, when God “declared him righteous.” Paul, uses the principle of first mentions here in this passage, by bringing up the account of Abraham. He does something similar in Galatians by reminding us that Abraham’s promise was before the law, and that Jesus’ substitutionary atonement grafts us into this promise of Abraham. What did God promise Abraham that when he believed, the doctrine of God declaring people righteous by faith is established?

Paul in this passage mentions a portion of this promise, by saying God promised to multiply his children (starting with his own) as the stars. Paul also states that God promised to give the world to him and his descendants. The whole world! Well, that escalated quickly.

(Genesis 12:1–2 LEB).

“And Yahweh said to Abram, “Go out from your land and from your relatives, and from the house of your father, to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great. And you will be a blessing.””

Genesis 15 NIV

1 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield, your very great reward.”

… 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

14 “…But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.”

Genesis 17 NLT

… 4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! 5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. 6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!

7 “I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”[3]

Paul says the Scripture recorded this as an example for the gentiles, because we are declared righteous and receive the same blessing on the basis of faith in God.

There are 3 main places God promises to Abraham. The first is rather man-centered and not God centered.  God does NOT promise to establish Himself a with great name, no, He promises to make Abraham’s name great. Moreover, God does not promise to make Himself a blessing, but to make Abraham a blessing. Furthermore, God does not promise to make Himself a great nation, no, God promises to make Abraham a great nation. Lastly, God does not promise to bless Himself, no, He promises to bless Abraham. This is said without any mention of sin, salvation or forgiveness.[4]

In the second encounter, which is still a continuation and reaffirming of the first, God promised to protect and to be Abraham’s exceedingly great reward; lastly, God promises to make his descendants as abundant as the stars. There is no mention of sins, salvation or forgiveness. Abraham believed God would do what He promised, in that God would protect him, bless him, make him wealthy, favor him and give him super abundant children and give the world to him. God then declares Abraham righteous in His sight.

The third, God promises again to give super abundant descendants and then we hear for the first time the phrase “I will be your God,” and also to his descendants. In the temporary covenant with Moses and then again restated in the permanent covenant in Jesus’ blood we get further insight what “I will be your God means.” However, here in the first mention of the doctrine, it is defined as God giving Abraham incalculable descendants, the world (as Paul says), blessings, favor and rewards.

Summary:

God: “Abraham, I will bless you, I will make you wealthy and prosperous, I will give you supernatural health, I will highly favor you in all things, I will exalt your name before the world, I will give you a son and love your children as I loved you.”

Abraham: “OK, I believe You are able.”

God stands up in Heaven, points His finger at Abraham and declares:
Righteousness.

This is the biblical doctrine of God declaring His chosen ones Righteous in His sight. There is a presupposition behind this, and that deals with the connection that Abraham was not declared righteous by God, but now is. The presupposition deals with the doctrine of our standing before God.[5] If we are not righteous in God’s sight, then we are unrighteous in His sight. Since God is the Almighty, and the source of all things, then for Him to declare someone righteous in His sight is very important.

However, as said before, Christianity is a positive doctrine, not negative. Therefore even with being declared righteous, the first mention of it is a positive one. God promises an over-the-top, excessive abundance, wealth, health, protection, blessings and even the world, then God declares a man righteous in His sight, because he believed God would do it. Because our sin was in the way, then sin must be dealt with, but sin is not the focus, God’s good promise of blessings and faithfulness to do it, is. This is where many make mistakes in how they focus on parts of the bible and what they focus on when they preach. Those who mock the health and wealth preachers are far more guilty of super-abundantly focusing on sin, sickness and death to the point of being satanic masochists. Their focus on sin, makes sin more central and foundational than God Himself, and more foundational than His promise of blessings for His chosen ones.  They do such things to affirm their unbelief and to appear humble in the eyes of the people they want to receive praise from. They have their reward.

God is the foundation for declaring man righteous in context of giving super blessings and rewards; not mand, and not man’s sin. God is the foundation for everlasting contracts; not man, and not man’s sin. God is the foundation for super abundant blessings, health and wealth; not man, and not man’s sin.

Vincent Cheung on this subject says,

“God promised that Abraham would have a son, and that his descendants would become numerous like the stars. He promised that he would make his name great. It was not presented as a promise of salvation or justification as such, and it was not a call to suffering discipleship. It was a promise of healing, prosperity, and glory for Abraham. And Abraham was justified by believing in this promise. The sort of message that false teachers call heresy today has been the foundation for the calling of Moses, the coming of Christ, and the salvation of Christians. Abraham recognized that his own body and his wife’s body were old and barren, but because God said that he would have a son, natural circumstances became irrelevant. He believed that God was able to perform a miracle of healing.

It would have been redundant to believe that God was willing to do what he said. Of course he was willing — he said it. God said, “Abraham, I have made you the father of nations. You are going to have a son. I will make your name great.” Imagine if Abraham had said, “I know you are able, but are you willing to do it?” This would have made no sense, but somehow it has become a pillar in Christian reasoning. “Well…I just said you are going to have a son.” “Right, I heard you. But are you willing to do it?” Should we treat God like a child? It is even more absurd to focus on the will of God for healing given all that the Bible says about the nature of God, the work of Christ, and the ministry of the apostles and the believers. Even the attempt to demonstrate the will of God for healing seems redundant and ridiculous. Abraham believed that God was able to do this thing that was impossible for human power to accomplish. And that was faith.”[6]

The scripture teaches the doctrine of being declared righteous in God’s sight, not in the context of sin or salvation, but of faith to believe God will be faithful to His promise to bestow us with over-the-top blessings, health, wealth and fame. It is interesting how the Scripture in Romans 4:13 interprets its own gospel blessing to Abraham as a promise to give the “whole world” to him! Two important things need to be said here.

One, this remark about the “gospel blessing,” was intentional. This again, will likely be a surprise to some, particularly those obsessed with sin more than God Himself. Paul in Galatians 3 says the promise “blessing” to Abraham was the “scripture” preaching the “gospel,” not only to Abraham but to the gentiles. This means that like the doctrine of God declaring people righteous was first introduced without sin or context of salvation, but in context of abundant favor and goodies, it is also with the doctrine of the “gospel.” It is true that what God promised Adam and Eve in the Garden, although vague, is about deliverance and in this sense was a promise of “good news”; however, in referring to the “gospel” in context to how the Scripture interprets itself “directly,” it is with Abraham the Scripture introduces “the gospel.” The reason for this, is that the children of faith and unbelief are publicly and historically made known with God’s promise to Abraham.[7] Also, not only does the Scripture directly call this blessing the gospel, but it is also in this context that the Scripture uses the principle of first mentions, about the doctrine of God declaring someone righteous in His sight.

Thus, the scripture introduces the doctrine of the “gospel” to Abraham, not in context of sin or justification or salvation, but of God giving extraordinary blessings, wealth, health and fame to humans. Let that sink in.

The gospel is “good news” that is “reported” and announced. The gospel, like with everything else about God and His chosen ones, is first and foremost a positive doctrine. It’s first announcement is of extraordinary good things for God’s chosen ones. Abraham believed this report of good news of blessings, and God declared him righteous for it. For this reason, when the gospel is “mainly” announced to be about sin and forgiveness or only forgiveness, it distorts and even slanders the way the scripture teaches the doctrine. Therefore, the gospel will be defined in this book as, “all the good things that the death and resurrection of Jesus accomplished at that place and time.” More will be explained later about this, but you will see how this definition will give proper place for sin and forgiveness (as a free gift blessing), but also strongly focusing on God’s super abundant blessings (health, wealth, help and powers), which are freely given to us, not only for the next life, but for this one.

From the beginning the gospel was foundationally an announcement of all the good things God is giving us, which like Abraham, by faith we receive today, and not just for the next life.  What if Abraham said, “well, I will receive a child in the next life, so it will be ok.” No! If Abraham thought this, there would have been no Isaac. Do not be deceived. To receive these good promises of miracles today in faith, are so important that if you do not receive them, then there is little hope you will find any good thing in the next life. If you are a true child of Abraham, a true child of faith, you will receive your miracles in this life, and then you will have proof that in the next life you will receive heaven itself.

“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?

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 3:5–9 (NIV)[8]

Because this “blessing of Abraham” (Galatians 3:8) is called by scripture the “gospel” let us read that in the text and see how it reads. Remember a few verses later “the Spirit,” was put together with “miracles.” Having the Spirit (most likely the baptism of the Spirit) and miracles, Paul says, is proof the Galatians began in the “message of Christ.”

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”

in order that the “gospel” might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus,

so that we might receive the “gospel” of the Spirit through faith,”
(Galatians 3:13-14 LEB).

Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, sums up “the gospel” preached to Abraham as receiving the blessings of the Holy Spirit and miracles. Let that sink in. God promising to be Abraham’s exceedingly great reward, according to Paul, means we get the gift of the baptism of the Spirit and miracles, and the Scripture calls this “the gospel.” This is not how most define and preach the gospel. But who is more God-centered, and who is more gospel-centered, some famous theologian or the scripture itself? Interestingly, Paul does not refer to Christ being our curse for us on the cross, as directly the gospel, but as something that makes the gentiles receive the gospel of the Spirit and miracles. It is true that the “gospel” is used in other places as incorporating the whole aspect of Jesus’ substitutionary death and resurrection; however, I point this out to show that even the Scripture at times narrowly uses the “gospel” as only its positive blessings, just like it was originally preached to Abraham. That is, the scripture interchanges “the gospel” with “God’s abundant favor.” Here, the “message of Christ”[9] is about the substitutionary atonement of Christ, particularly the negative aspect of Jesus becoming our sin, curse and sickness. The “gospel” here is referred to as the positive blessings of God giving the Spirit, miracles and the world to us.[10]

This teaching on the gospel also condemns cessationists 1000x over. Paul narrowly uses the “gospel” to only refer to the blessing of the baptism of the Spirit and working miracles. Therefore, those who resist the baptism of the Spirit (as defined by Acts) and working miracles, are those who fight the gospel itself. Cessationist rather than being gospel-centered, are gospel enemies and blasphemers. They are gospel haters.  The gospel is not even in the picture for them. They are centered on something, but it is not the gospel. However, as I think about it, there was a group in the New Testament, of spiritual beings and men who tried to stop this gospel of the baptism of the Spirit and miracles. They were “gospel-centered,” but only in the sense they were centered on destroying it. So in a sense cessationists are “gospel-centered,” but not the way they think.

Two. The second point that needs to be addressed is Paul summing up the blessing of Abraham, as God “giving him the world.” So, in Galatians the blessing of Abraham is called the gospel, and Paul boils it down to receiving the baptism of the Spirit and miracles. Here in Romans 4 Paul boils down the promises of God to Abraham as God giving the “whole world” to him.  Both are true, correct, and together they broadly incorporate the favor of God given to His chosen ones. As for the gospel of the Spirit and miracles, we see God being our Exceedingly Great Reward in the spiritual sense. Recall an earlier doctrine, we went over how man’s image is intellectual and spiritual. We discussed this from 1 Corinthians chapter 2. Through the Spirit, who alone knows God, we who are given the Spirit, have the “Mind of Christ.” In the baptism of the Spirit and miracles, this intellectual and spiritual image becomes so infused with God like power, that is becomes more than an internal spiritual reality, it becomes an outward world effecting power. God’s internal intellectual and Spiritual glory is overflowing with power so much that it effects reality so much, that it is the sole cause of all reality. As image bearers, we also reflect this image of God in us. God is such an exceeding great reward for His chosen ones, that He spares no expense. He gives us the “Mind of Christ,” and unlike Zeus who would never let a person even borrow his lighting bolt, God gives us His lighting bolt to wield as our own.  Jesus overcame the world, and with our faith in Him, “we” wielding God’s power overcome the world. This is the legacy of God’s children. The same love the father loves the Son, the Son asks the Father to love us with. We are made one with God, by His unmeasurable favor that He has for the Son, He pours in and all around us. Thus, whether it is the image of God internal glory of intelligence, God gives it to us, or whether it is God’s power, He gives it us to. The is no one who gives like God. If He gave His Son to saves us from our sins, then how much MORE will He freely gives us all things in Jesus? Who can measure such lavish and generous giving?

In addition to our spiritual image and spiritual power that effects reality, Paul sums up Abraham’s blessing as God giving the whole world to Abraham. This is not the first time we have seen this. Recall our earlier circle diagram from 1 Corinthians 3. Paul says the world belongs to God but so do the saints; yet God puts “the world,” as a smaller category inside the larger category of “His children.” The world, the past and present, the future, and all things belong to God’s children. Understanding God’s immeasurable giving nature, why should any saint have any hesitation to affirm and believe that God would create and give the whole world to His chosen ones? Who could doubt this but the unbelieving and wicked? As said before, this was how Satan tempted Eve; as if God was somehow holding back on her. To disbelieve and not enjoy the good things God has so graciously given us, is what led man into sin to begin with. If you have the smallest hesitation to believe and receive all the great things God has given to you, in this life, is at the same time leaving the door open for Satan to tempt and destroy you. God as given you His Mind, His Power and the wealth of reality, and if you disbelieve it, Satan will come along and say, “look at all the things you don’t have, and all those things you can’t have.” He will tempt you to acquire God’s freely given things, by a malfunctioned and intellectually delusional way. You will live a lie, a fallacy and become wicked. Do not allow yourself to be such easy prey. Rather, receive from God all that He has given you, and expand the Kingdom of God with truth, power and resources. Become Jacob who possess his possessions. “And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions,” (Obadiah 1:17 NKJV)

Considering what God promised Abraham in being his exceedingly great reward (giving the world to him), Abraham became financially filthy rich, had a wife so physically beautiful that kings wanted her (70 years old) for their Harlem, defeated 4 kingdoms and their armies, supernatural had children beyond what natural bodies can do and prospered in all that he did. This is what it meant for God to be Abraham’s God, and Abraham to be His son, in relation to reality. Reality is freely given to Abraham to bless and prosper him. It is true the “fullness” or completeness of this promise is realized after Jesus’ second coming; however, the point here is to state what is available in this life, which is the life we are currently existing in.

The temporary contract with Moses in the law, also restated what this blessing of “God being our God, and we His people,” looks like, if the law if perfectly kept. Of course, in Jesus Christ, the law is perfectly kept. Thus, we who are Christians receive the blessings of that law; although what is really happening, is that this favor is originally the unmerited and eternal blessing promised to Abraham from ancient times, which the atonement of Jesus grafts us into.

“I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land. In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword.

“I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you.  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!  I will live among you, and I will not despise you. I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.  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,”
( Lev. 26:6:13 NLT)

Jesus, under the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and perfect faith in the word of God, asked and multiplied five loaves of bread to feed 5,000 men (not including women and children). There was such a “surplus” of food, they had to gather large baskets, in order to hold all the surplus of food. There was such a surplus of the power of the Spirit given to the church that people would try to let their shadows touch them, so that they might be healed of sickness and demons.  “The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade.  But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women.  As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by, (Acts 5:12-15 NLT).” But even table bearers, such as Phillip, had such a surplus of power and favor, that he was bodily transported by the Spirit to different locations, which is not recorded that even Jesus experienced.  Paul said that Jesus was a wealth atonement substitute on the cross for us, so that the Corinthians will live in financial abundance (because Jesus took on their poverty), so that in this “surplus” of money they can freely give to the cause of advancing the gospel and helping the church (2 Corinthians 8:9 & 9:8).[11]

Melchizedek, the eternal priest—without beginning or end—and an architype for Jesus, brought Abraham bread and wine in Genesis chapter 14. The context was God blessing Abraham with a victory in defeating 4 kings and their armies who had take Lot as a captive. In returning from this victory, Melchizedek meet Abraham, bringing him “bread and wine.” The connection is obvious. This high priest of God is giving bread and wine, as an archetype for what Jesus, the true high priest, was going to do.  This again was without the context of justification or salvation, but of granting Abraham a military victory over his enemies. God promised to be Abraham’s great reward, and therefore, even in military conflicts God favors Abraham. God even blesses Abraham with a high priest and gives him the bread and wine. Thus, those grafted into the blessing of Abraham, have victories over their troubles and enemies. Likewise, the true high priest gave us His body to be broken and His blood to be spilled out, in order to both save us and favor us with blessings. I could go on and on about his, but the point is made.

This ties into our previous teaching on the decrees. The original intention God had toward the Elect was all blessings and glory and love. It was a purely positive intention to create a chosen people to share in the love He has for His Son, to be freely given in and over them. Therefore, after the introduction of the Garden and God’s promise of salvation, God singles out Abraham and introduces the major Christian doctrines in a exclusive positive way, without the context of justification or salvation. Abraham is blessed, favored, declared righteous in God’s sight and is God’s “friend.” In this Abraham is a type of architype of how God saw all His chosen ones, at the beginning of His decrees. After Abraham, we see in Scripture how God designed to get all His chosen ones to this overabundant blessed position. Thus, God after Abraham brings in the temporary law of Moses to teach about man’s sinfulness.  “This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise.  For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise. Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins,” (Galatians 3:17-19 NLT).

This will end the scripture’s basic introduction of Soteriology and how it introduces major doctrines of salvation. The next section will deal with the specifics of the atonement of Jesus Christ and its accomplishments.

Abraham/gospel promise – You are highly favored and blessed.

Moses/Law – You are sinful.

Jesus/It is finished – I save you from your sins (the doorway), and I give you Abraham’s blessing (at seat at My Father’s table).

——- Endnotes ——-

[1] Boldface mine.

[2] [] my translation, since I felt the NLT paraphrased too far on this part.

[3] Boldface is mine in these 3 passages.

[4] Although I have heard other people mention the importance of Abraham, such as Oral Roberts (mentioning Abraham’s promise means healing as bread in the example of the gentile women), but it was Vincent who help me the most to understand this doctrine, and must give credit to him. I would recommend his essay, “Edge of Glory.”

[5]  “You are nothing but a Canaanite! Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.  On the day you were born, no one cared about you. Your umbilical cord was not cut, and you were never washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in cloth.  No one had the slightest interest in you; no one pitied you or cared for you. On the day you were born, you were unwanted, dumped in a field and left to die.

But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘Live!’  And I helped you to thrive like a plant in the field,”
Ezekiel 16”3-7 NLT.

[6] Vincent Cheung. “Healing: the Will of Man.”

[7] Before Abraham, the children of faith were more random and spread out. There was no definite line or place to show a strong heritage of faith.

Even though Israel was marred with unbelief, there was always the remnant of faith in him, as opposed to every other nation on earth that did not even have a small public remnant of faith.

[8] Boldface added by author.

[9] In 3:1-2 the message Paul referred to was about the “crucifixion of Jesus.”

[10] I can count on one hand how many times I have heard preachers use the terms gospel and message of Christ the way Paul uses them here.

[11] I will not long deal with the stupid objection that says, “the church in Jerusalem was poor to whom they were giving the money too,” because the main context of this was the “persecution” for the sake of the gospel. As said, many times, that is a different category other than everyday troubles. Thus, if you are not under direct persecution, for the sake of being a true Christian, then this objection is a point of non-relevance.  Green is 7 therefore blue is 7. Please think like adults and do not annihilate categories like children playing imaginary games.

With that being said, even under persecution, we are not without weapons, and ways to gain victories, and if death for the gospel’s sake is truly our end, then the Spirit will make this clear, and not irrationally inferring it form mere circumstances. Only those under the power of the Spirit and filled with mountain moving faith, are those qualified to make such distinctions, which means those who make such stupid and wicked objections are not qualified.

First Principles of a Worldview or First Spirits?

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

LSB Colossians 2:8

Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon: (elementary principles),

4747 στοιχεῖον [stoicheion /stoy·khi·on/] n n. From a presumed derivative of the base of 4748; TDNT 7:670; TDNTA 1087; GK 5122; Seven occurrences; AV translates as “element” four times, “rudiment” twice, and “principle” once.

1 any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or composite whole take their rise, an element, first principal. 1a the letters of the alphabet as the elements of speech, not however the written characters, but the spoken sounds. 1b the elements from which all things have come, the material causes of the universe. 1c the heavenly bodies, either as parts of the heavens or (as others think) because in them the elements of man, life and destiny were supposed to reside.
1d the elements, rudiments, primary and fundamental principles of any art, science, or discipline. 1d1 i.e. of mathematics, Euclid’s geometry.[1]

In the verse, the word “philosophy” is actually used, not “spirits or angels.” In addition to philosophy being used by Paul, which is about philosophy, the context is about “traditions of men,” that are conclusions from “elementary principles.” In Philosophy 101 you learn that ethics (or in this case religious ethics as “traditions”) are a conclusion from the rudimentary principles of metaphysics(reality) and epistemology(knowledge). To talk about ethics, as Paul does here, coming from elementary foundational principles of a human system, is as philosophy as it gets.  In fact you can start any Intro to Philosophy book or college class with this statement, “Philosophy is the study of the fundamental principles, or ultimate questions about life.” The first two biggest questions are almost always about “starting point for knowledge,” and then the “starting point for reality.” With these two big fundamental principles laid down, then one can easily proceed to ultimate question about ethics.

The whole structure of this premise and those immediately around, is strong philosophy, or ultimate question language. Thus, “stoicheion,” due to context should mean what it normally means and not some other meaning, like “elementary spirits.” It means ultimate or rudimentary/first principles of a worldview. Think about the philosophy word, “epistemology.” It means, “first or starting principle of knowledge.”

Thus, the last part of the Strong’s Lexicon (1D) is best definition of this word, that fits the context of Paul’s premise. Paul is therefore, referring to the first and foundational principles of a humanly made worldview, and then the “traditions” men conclude from the first principles of their humanly devised worldview.

Paul is contrasting “human” versus “Christian” first principles, and then human conclusions from their humans first principles versus Christian ethics from its first principles.

Men have their own speculative statements of first principles of knowledge and reality, and from this they superstitiously conclude human traditions as their ethics. Their traditions are false, because their first principles of their worldview about reality and knowledge are false; and therefore, their traditions/conclusions are false.

Christians on the other hand, have Christ, who is hidden all the treasures of knowledge. The Scripture reveals the starting principles about knowledge(epistemology) and reality(metaphysics) to us, and from foundation, God reveals His commands(ethics) to us. Christians ethics are founded on reality and truth, whereas, non-christians ethics are founded on a delusion of reality and skepticism as knowledge.

[1] Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

God’s Authority & Not Man’s Freedom Makes Man Accountable

Before going over a more positive stating of God’s sovereignty, we will deal with this idea of man’s responsibility and accountability to God, since the wrong doctrine of this is used to negate what the Bible says about God’s sovereignty and man.

This is both an ultimate question about God’s sovereignty and Christian ethics, and so, this will be dealt with more in that section.

Man is responsible and accountable to God, not because man is free from God’s direct control; rather it is the complete opposite. Man is accountable, because man is not free to God’s sovereign authority to hold man accountable.[1] Accountability does not presuppose freedom; rather, it presupposes a sovereign authority that you cannot escape from. Without a parent, how is child (if you can still call them that) responsible? Without teachers, students (if you can still call them that) are not accountable. Without a government of some sort, citizens (if you can still call them that) are not responsible.  

The point is, if you take the authority away, accountability is not merely partially removed, it is completely removed. On the other hand, I can hold my clay vase accountable for not talking to me, by slamming against the wall, and then throwing it into the fire. Whether or not you like this, is not the question. The issue is painfully obvious, even without freedom, my sovereign authority over the clay vase, is all that is needed to make it accountable. 

And in fact, this is exactly what Paul says in Romans 9 when the issue of how is man being accountable to God, when man is not free from God controlling man (like how God controlled Pharaoh, by hardening his heart).

Also, if you recall earlier comments about God’s transcendence, God is not merely above being accountable; God is categorically not even related to such a category. There is nothing above God. There is no other power. There is no other causality. There is no possibility for God not to be absolutely sovereign, and so it is impossible for there to even be a possibility or another power or metaphysical dualism. Because the possibility is not even possible, it means God is categorically separate from such a term. Is color above the concept of numbers, or do they have no necessary relation to even be considered in such a way? Because God is transcendent to man in this regard, we therefore know, when a person tries to apply accountability to God, by relating how it works with man, just made a metaphysical, intellectual and ethical no, no (to say it nicely).

First, Paul brings in the example of the twins who were, one chosen for mercy and the other damnation—before they were born or had done good or bad choices—to show God’s choices and His resulting causation from these choices includes both good and bad; both light and dark; both mercy and damnation. Paul then brings in additional examples of the old testament regarding a positive choosing and then also a negative choosing. Moses is the example for mercy and the Pharaoh is the example of damnation.

This is classic systematic theology. Paul is bringing in different passages ranging over the Scripture that address the same theological category. From this Paul then gives a summary of a doctrinal statement that is to be believed and obeyed. “God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others, so they refuse to believe.” And this doctrinal comprehension includes what Paul stated before in the formation of it: “before they are born or had done good or evil.

If some say that the twins were a representation of nations, then Paul’s point is made even more so, for then it would mean, before millions were born or had made choices of good or evil that God chose some would obtain mercy and some damnation.[2] This point, logically therefore, is a point of non-relevance. However, this objection shows that such a person not only is defective in their objection but demonstrates they miss the entirety of what Paul is doing here. Paul is doing systematic theology. He brings many individuals and then asserts with logic and divine inspiration, that these are not an exception of God’s power and active; rather, Paul shows this is how God uses this power of causality over all humans for all time. That is, categorical premises of “all,” not some. 

Back to Paul’s doctrinal statement. He does not wish for people to miss the point. One can see how Paul bracketed the part about the twins (before they had made choices of good or evil) in the verse. Paul wanted to head off the misinterpretation that despite being born, God looked ahead and considered the twins choices of good or evil, to then decide who to show mercy and who to dam to hell. And so, Paul stops the flow of the statement to clarify that God did not consider their choices in determining their future of heaven or hell. 

God punishes the Pharaoh after saying He first hardened (first mention in Exodus) the Pharaoh’s heart. To this Paul’s opponent says,

if Pharaoh went along with God’s causality(ontology)

—that is, to be hard hearted and resist God’s command(ethic)

—then why is Pharaoh punished?”

This objection is bottom of the barrel stupid and displays a mind that is spiritually broken and mentally faulty.  Again, this is like saying trees and cats are the same, therefore, why don’t’ trees walk? It is a category fallacy.  All Christian ethics are God’s commandments. The Pharaoh was a lawbreaker by disobeying God’s command to let His people go. He is guilty, not because He did or did not resist God’s causality, but because He resisted obeying God’s command.

Some say that man is “more than a clay pot.” This is true, but only if whole analogy is taken up together.[3] Thus, if man is more than clay, then God is infinitely much more than a mere potter. Therefore, as much as man is more than clay, it is not a true infinite. God however is truly infinitely more than a mere man. Thus, if the analogy is taken up then the point of God’s sovereign control over man’s destinies apart from man’s choice is literally made “infinity” stronger.

This clay analogy reminds of how teachers and preachers today directly contradict the Scriptures teaching. They are blasphemers who would rather suffer the Scripture to nonsense, than let their cowardly souls suffer from confessing their unbelief. It appears popular in many Christian traditions to say God takes a wicked clay lump and God chooses to let some remain in this wicked lump state and make them into wicked pots. In addition, God chooses to take some of this wicked clay lump save them and make them into a good clay pot.  How obvious that this is not what the verse says. The lump is not already wicked or good. It is unformed, without choices of good or evil. It is a neutral unformed lump. It is like what is said about Jacob and Esau, “before they had done good or evil,” God decided to love one and hate the other.

This lines up with the objection Paul’s opponent brings up.

“If the Creator takes me from a neutral clay lump(that is not already bad) and makes me into a wicked pot, and I obviously go along with God’s causality, then why does God find fault with me, even if He commanded me to do good?”

This question of “responsibility” is precisely what Paul’s opponent asks in Romans 9:19.

…Therefore you will say to me, “Why then does he still find fault? For who has resisted[o] his will? (LEB)

…Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?” (NLT)

We will now put into the verse the clear terms for command(responsibility) and God’s absolute causality: or Christian ethics and Christian ontology.

“Why does God [hold people responsible] for not responding [to His command]?

Haven’t they simply done what [He absolutely directly causes them to do]?

or

“Why then does he still find fault? [Ethics]

For who has resisted[o] his will? [Ontology]

Thus, Paul’s opponent is dealing with the issue of man’s responsibility when man is considered relative to God controlling and causing man to do. Paul’s opponent correctly restates Paul’s position about God’s absolute sovereignty saying “who has resisted God’s will (causality/sovereign control). Paul’s opponent understands that Paul position is that God is actively and absolute controlling man. The opponent says that “no person has resisted God’s will.” God’s will here is defined in context to me God’s causality not command, because it is painfully obvious people resist obeying God’s commands.

Thus, the opponent is saying,

Paul, your position is that no person has never resisted God’s causality, in causing them to make good or evil choices; but, if that is true, then why does God still hold us responsibly for things He sovereignly caused us to do?”

On the contrary, O man, who are you who answers back to God? Will what is molded say to the one who molded it, “Why did you make me like this”? 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?
(Romans 9:20-21 LEB)

Paul’s reply is interesting because it ignores the fallacy of the opponent, and simply gives a positive answer about God’s authority and power. The fallacy of the opponent lies in what we disused earlier about God’s transcendence over commands given to man.  God is not merely above the laws; rather, laws do not categorically apply to Him. The Bible defines sin and evil as lawlessness. Thus, you cannot accuse God of sin or a wrong, without a law being transgressed by God. But laws do not categorically apply to God. Thus, it is categorically impossible for God to do sin or evil. It is not that God can do evil but chooses not to. No. The possibility does not even exist.

Who are you who answers back to God?” Paul ignores this, in that He does not address it directly; rather, Paul rebukes the opponent in this way: “as a man you are acting like God and as a man are trying to put God under a law.” The opponent has the role of God and man flipped. That is, the opponent’s position is not merely a little bit wrong, it is upside-down wrong.

The potter [has] AUTHORITY over the clay, to make from the same lump…” Remember the context is about why is man responsible. If ever there was a time for the Bible to say man’s accountability is based on freedom or freewill, now is the time. Now is the foundational issue or linchpin about man’s responsibility. Paul gives his positive answer to why man is responsible to God. God is an AUTHORITY OVER THE MAN. The answer given is NOT “God gave man freedom.” NO. The contradiction of this is given. Man is NOT free from God’s AUTHORITY to make man however He wants.

The way Paul does answer this presupposes what we just went over; that responsibility presupposes a higher authority and not freedom. If you are responsible, then it means you are not free, but under an authority. Paul’s answer to why people are responsible—even like Pharaoh, by performing the works God causes them to perform—is that God is an authority over them. That is, Paul appeals to that fact that God is a sovereign authority over us. We are responsible precisely because we are not free, but under God’s authority.

It can be said that God makes it—as an additive—that having more knowledge makes us guiltier. This can be said about metaphysics on a relative level when said about us. That is, we are led away by “OUR” own desires. However, both additives only work as adding to our responsibility because God as an “authority” over us commands it so! That is, without us being free from God’s sovereign authority and control over us, He adds additional rewards and condemnation if we have more knowledge (knowledge that He chose to give or not give us).

For the God’s elect children, the point is that though Jesus Christ’s imputed righteous (ethics) they have completed the requirement of obeying God. They have been credited with a perfect Christian ethic that is fulfilled and the receipt printed off. After new birth they are given the Holy Spirit that causes(ontology) them to behave in accordance with the perfect obedience already credited to their accounts. That is, as Pharaoh could not resist God causing him to reject His command, the Elect cannot resist the Holy Spirit causing them to be sanctified


—-Endnotes——

[1] I learned to say this doctrine in this way from Vincent Cheung (and some from Gordon Clark). See Vincent’s many mentions of this in his books. (www.vincentcheung.com)

[2] I learned this argument from Vincent Cheung. See, “More than a Potter.”

[3] This basic idea of taking the analogy up with both parts was brought to my attention by an essay of Vincent Cheung, “More Than A Potter.” Found in “Author of Evil.” 2014. Ch.18.

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.

Timelessness:

[This is a first draft from a small section of my upcoming Systematic Theology book]

“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who lives from everlasting to everlasting,”
Psalm 41:13 NLT

“there he worshiped the Lord, the Eternal God
Genesis 21:33 NLT

God is timeless, or exists in an “eternal state.” What does that mean?

God is Spirit, Power and intellectual. Thus, what is timeless is spiritual, intellectual force.

Time is a measure of change. Without any change, in any degree, there is nothing to measure, and if there is nothing to measure, then the concept of time is meaningless and nonsense.

Thus, all material existence is automatically ruled out in being attributed with timelessness, because all material things change. Even invisible things like the mind of man, changes as man learns new things; however, we will focus on the issue that matter is not timeless.

Vincent Cheung commenting on this says,

Matter cannot be eternal, in the sense of being timeless, for there is no before and after with that which is timeless. And if there is no before and after with matter, then it would be impossible for it to be one way before and another way after. Therefore, if matter changes at all, it cannot be eternal. And matter could not have existed forever, for if matter is bound to time but has existed forever, then it would have an infinite past. But if it has an infinite past, it could never have reached the present. If it has reached the present, the past cannot be infinite. Therefore, matter is not eternal, but bound to time, and it originated at some point in time.

God is uncreated. He is eternal, timeless, and immutable. And he created the universe out of nothing, that is, without the use of any existing materials, since there were no existing materials when he created. All linguistic and historical arguments that attempt to suggest an opposing view must be wrong. In fact, these kinds of arguments are irrelevant unless the logical arguments based on the very ideas of matter and creation are demonstrated to be inconclusive.[1]

To further explain this. By this we know that any naturalistic or evolutionary claim that matter has “always existed” is bottom of the barrel stupid. To always exist with change, would mean an “infinite” chronological measurable time/distance. Another way to say infinite in regard to time or distance, would be “an unreachable distance.” If it is reachable, then it is not infinite; matter’s history of change is not an unreachable distance, if the distance to the past is reachable. Evolution teaches matter has always been here; they say this because if it was not, then either matter was created, or “self-created,” which is a contradiction. Either is not acceptable for evolution. Thus, since timeless is out of the question, they make matter eternal. However, that is a contradiction, and as shown before, a contradiction does not exist in the mind or in reality. To say matter has an “unreachable” distance going into the past, yet, we have “reached” this “unreachable” distance by being here today, is Plus Ultra Stupid.

God, as the Scripture says, exists from “everlasting to everlasting,” and this is as the “I AM who I AM.” He is also said to be immutable. And so, the I AM who I AM, has always been that way, and will forever be that way. Thus, God’s existence is not eternal properties that might change; rather, God’s existence is an eternal state. For this reason, “emotions,” are not part of the Divine Nature. Emotions change, but God does not change. God is timeless; yet, emotions by definition are measurable, and thus, are not timeless.

Therefore, what is timeless is God’s mind, or what is timeless is God’s powerful thoughts about all things. There is nothing to measure in God’s eternal state, because there is no change. Thus, God’s thoughts are not learned. God’s thoughts are not in a linear progression like man is with his limitations. God has always self-existed as intuitively knowing all things in “one thought” (i.e. “eternal unchanging state”), without progression. God did not have to wait to create, to see (although this is wrong because God does not have eyes) images to associate certain thoughts with things to know them better. God has always known that He would create. Included in God’s thoughts about all things, as an intuitive and never changing thought, was creation. This is why after creation, God does not change. This is why God is not different between the Old Testament or the New Testament. The eternal state of God’s intuitive thought about all things, has not changed.

God is also said to be perfect. And thus, for God to change is not only a denial of His timelessness, but it would be a change for the worse; it would be to liberate from perfection; it would make Him less valuable; it would be a serious downgrade. If you have been following what has been said about God’s nature, for God to change it would mean God would have to exchange a truth for a lie.  This is an impossibility.

This does not mean there is no such thing as logic or order to God’s mind; rather, it means the logical order of God’s mind was not chronological in time, but always known intuitively as one thought. For example, the decrees of God. God ordered the history of the world, before it was created. But this ordering has always self-existed with God as one intuitive thought. For man, who is not timeless and has a limited about of thoughts they can think in any given moment needs time and a progression of thoughts to see this ordering. This will be discussed more later, but the same is for logic and God. Because God has already known all things, it means any thought applied to creation is a deduction[2] for God, because it is merely pinpointing specific information that was part of God’s original timeless intuitive thought. For God, any specific thought about creation, does not add more information to His conclusion. For my readers, this section is dealing with many abstract concepts, however, to help see this, consider it with Jesus. Starting with Jesus’ divine mind before creation and His timeless eternal intuitive thought about all things, then go down to the incarnated Jesus who limited His mind (but the Divine Mind did not stop or change), any thought He had is still just a deduction from His timeless intuitive thought about all things (Even what He would think and say as His time as incarnated Jesus).

End-notes————–

[1] Vincent Cheung. Sermonettes Vol 1. Chapter 2. “Creation: In the Beginning.” 2010.  Pg. 7

[2] Vincent Cheung in an email first brought this to my attention, when I was discussing logic with him. Once I thought about it, it was rather obvious God’s thoughts are deductive by plain definition.

“…I will Be YOUR GOD, & you will be MY PEOPLE…”

Hebrews 8 quotes Jeremiah 31, which is prophesying about the terms stipulated in the New Covenant, or contract. There are 3 basic points of this contract that God is making with the elect through Jesus Christ the mediator.

First, is the cornerstone aspect of forgiveness. “I will not remember their sins anymore.” Later the writer of Hebrews puts it like this, (paraphrased), “When I forgive you of your sins, there is no longer a need for a sacrifice.” This teaches the finality of the issue. To put this into an analogy. Imagine you have sinned again today in that besetting sin you are fighting.  What do you do? If you think to yourself, “I will not talk to God for a while today and just read my Bible, then I will feel better for God will see me trying, and then I will pray to Him.” The issue with this is that you just “sacrificed” to get back in reconciliation with God.  Our covenant or contract with God ensures there is no longer sacrifices for sin, so that you can be reconciled to God. It is final. What this means, is that from God’s part, He never sees us as apart or distant. If you feel this way, it is a lie and you are deceived by Satan.  Hebrews 6 says it is impossible for God to lie. This is stating a category error. Just as it is not possible for a circle to be a square, it is not possible for God to lie. He is truth, and all His revelation is truth, without blemish. God’s agreement is that He considers us reconciled, thus we are. Period. As Hebrews also says, this new agreement is the forgiveness/forgetfulness of sin, not the conscience of sins. One way to see if  you are mature in believing what this covenant means is when you sin, can you see yourself, in the next moment opening the doors to the majestic throne room of power and march boldly to God almighty (before the watching eyes of elders and angels) and ask not only forgiveness but also for prosperity and blessings. If not, then you are relating to God as if you do not have a covenant with Him.

Second, is about God being our personal teacher and tutor. Some people pay high prices to get the best tutor for their children, whether it be in math, music or sports, so that they might be the best by being trained by the best. How precious it is to see written into the new covenant that God will be our personal trainer! 1 Corin. 2 Paul says, “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.” God becomes our tutor, not by proxy, but by putting into our spirit, His very own Spirit. The one who knows God, is God’s Spirit. God gives us His Spirit. Paul later says in a category statement, “You have the Mind of Christ.” What is interesting is that Paul starts this section off by saying this is about maturity and mature wisdom in God. Then Paul’s main point about God’s teaching us, by having His Spirit put directly into us, is that the Spirit will help us know and receive all the unmerited goodies God is giving us.  What does it matter if you are poor or rich, talented or not, if God is your personal tutor, then there is no limit to how great you can become in the kingdom of God.

Third, which is the biggest part of the new covenant says, “I will be your God, and you will be my people.” This last stipulation in the agreement is huge! It includes all the promises of goodies, blessings, healings, heirship, sonship, helps and prosperities that cover the span the whole Scripture. Take for example the blessing of Abraham, which was based on God’s unmerited favor. Paul in Galatians 3 and 4 says this blessing is part of Jesus’ atonement for all those with faith. Therefore, it is part of the new contract. God is Abraham’s God, and Abraham is God’s people. This is seen vividly in the Exodus account. Pharaoh and the Egyptians where not God’s people and God was not their God. Rather, God was their enemy, and they were enemy to God. Israel was rescued and Egypt destroyed because God was God to Israel and Israel was God’s people. In fact, the last judgment was God killing the first born; this was the positive/direct action. The negative/indirect was God passing over those, to whom were His people, as He was on His direct action to kill His enemies.

Consider when Jacob admitted he was wrong, but then demanded, even physically fighting God, to bless him more. How can that be? God promised to bless; it is that simple. Without anyone influencing Him, God in total predestination and desire made the promise, because He wanted to. It is impossible for God to lie. God is not a man. He is actually faithful. Yet, the promise to bless Abraham was confirmed by the blood of animals, and the worm Jacob was able to fight God to bless Him more; however, in Christ, the blood of God was used to confirm His new contract with us! How much more will God bless us, when both the blessing of Abraham and Jesus is given to us, and confirmed by the blood of God?

Whether was King David or women like Hannah, they were all helped, blessed, healed and clothed in prosperity because God was their God and they were God’s people. All those promises they applied to them, are to be applied to us with even greater force. Psalm 103? Yes, it is yours in the new covenant with God. All your sins forgiven, all your sickness healed, all your needs met, and your youth renewed. David applied this to him under Abraham’s promise. How much more now under Christ’s atonement.

Vincent Cheung recently came out with an essay on our contract with God.[1] Vincent makes a point about this contract, that I had not considered in such clarity before.

He says,

To use marriage as an example again, whenever my wife asks for me she does not have to wonder if I would support her in that instance. Whenever we meet someone she does not have to wonder if I would prefer him or her over my wife this time. The act of forming the marriage covenant meant that, by this one motion, I had decided how I would treat her in every case in the future. If I had intended that I would decide how to treat her on a case-by-case basis, or on a day-by-day basis, I would not have formed the covenant, because it would be meaningless, and in fact there would be no actual covenant. It would be a contract that carries no terms, no conditions, and no promises. There would be no contract…

…The very point of a contract is to prevent decisions to be made on a case-by-case basis. The very reason for it is to declare the will of each party for future events. There is no need for a contract if one can discover the will of another only by observing what the other person does in each instance. By definition, a contract guarantees that one would know what the other person will do before he does it…

…God has a contractual right to approach us at any time to make demands on us. This is what it means to have such a contract. This is admitted without hesitation, but the reverse is also true. We have a contractual right to approach God at any time to make demands on him. Jesus said this in various ways to his disciples, repeating the teaching again and again. He said that if we would remain in him, or if we would ask in his name, then we could ask for whatever is our will, and it would be done for us, or given to us… If we do not believe that we can approach him like this, then we do not believe that he can approach us like this either.”[2]

Jesus on the night of His betrayal, in John 14-16 said, over and over and over and over and over, that his disciples are to ask for anything they wish in His name, and they will get it. In John 15 Jesus makes it clear, this includes all disciples because the point is about bearing fruit for the Father’s value. Those who do not remain are thrown into the flames of hell. As Vincent says, by contractual right, those who remain in Him are to ask and receive anything. By this the Father is publicly valued in the world. These are Jesus’ words and teaching. Thus, the context is for all disciples or followers of Jesus, who remain in Him. This is right before Jesus gives His famous high priest prayer. He is telling us the necessary outcome of His death, which in His blood, ratifies the new contract. Jesus is saying, you do not need to guess if I will answer your prayer on a case-by-case issue; rather, I am promising that I will always behave in this way with you. If you ask you will receive. If you seek you will find. The conditions of the contract are stipulated this way. As Vincent points out the obvious (which I had not myself considered carefully), a contract is about avoiding the whole situation of a “case by case” issue. In fact, that is how you treat outsiders. That is how you treat non-spouse. That is how you treat foreigners and aliens. That is how you treat those who are afar off.  This is like saying, “it’s a 50/50 chance.” A  contract is a guarantee that God will not treat you case-by-case; rather, its a promise that if these conditions are met (and in this case Jesus meets the conditions for us, as our substitutionary atonement), then you can pray for anything, and God will give it to you.

When I make a contract, let us say for a subscription, or house rental, I know how the other will react every month, and they know how I will react. I do not guess if Netflix might give me access to login, on a case-by-case issue every time I login. I also have no doubt, if they might or might not charge me, on a month-to-month case. The whole point of a contract is to know in precision and guarantee how the two parties will react.

Isaiah 53 says that Jesus bore (the same Levitical word in Leviticus 16 for the escape goat, and same word used in 53:11-12) our sickness. Our sickness was confessed on Jesus and then He bore them outside the gate to the place of the Skull. Thus, the necessary outcome in the contract is found in James 5:15 “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick…” Jesus says that the bread of Abraham’s blessings is healing and necessary for Abraham’s children. It is necessary, because it is bound in blood in contract.

God, apart from the fact He is the sovereign God, on the basis of the New Contract is able to make demands on us. We were purchased with a price. Our bodies and new souls are a temple of God, and God demands we treat them as such. God, on this new contract, made a demand for Peter to feed His people. Peter, along with the other disciples demanded that God would apply Psalm 2, (which was not directly about them) to them, and God, on the basis of the new contract with them, applied Psalm 2 to them anyway (Acts 4).

The 3rd stipulation of the New Contract

Jacob: Lord Bless me even more, despite that I am a worm.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Joseph: You meant me evil, but God meant me good.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Hannah: Lord give me a son and take away my reproach.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Samson: Sovereign Lord, remember me.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Elijah: Rain, stop. Rain come back.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

David: Lord give me strength to destroy my enemies.
God: I am your God, you are My people.

David: Forgive me.
God: I am your God, you are My People.

David: Prosper me and give me success.
God: I am your God, you are My people.

Jabez: Lord prosper me and protect me.
God: I am your God, you are my people.

Ruth: Lord, you will be my God, and your people my people.
God. I am now Your God, and you are now My people.

Blind man: Lord heal me.
God: I am your God, you are My people.

Woman bent over for 18 years: No record of her even asking.
God: I am your God, you are My people.

Roman Centurion, outside the timing of the New Contract: Lord just say the Word.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Canaanite woman, outside the timing of the New Contract: Lord, there are still crumbs.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Unnamed man healing in Jesus’ name: be healed in Jesus’ name.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Peter: get up little girl.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Peter: You have lied to the Holy Spirit, and so you will take your last breath.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Steven: I see God on His throne.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Paul: Fill these Gentiles with the power and baptism of your Spirit.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Paul to the Corinthians. Jesus became poor so that you can be wealthy and help those who need it.
God: I am your God, and you are My people.

Rahab the Harlot: God is not with my people, but is with yours; let me join you.
God: I am now your God, and you are now My people.

On the Day of Atonement the blood was brought in to be sprinkled on the mercy seat. Today, Jesus is on the right hand of God, and sits in a throne of power and a seat of mercy. It is as if God took His heavenly pen and dipped it in the blood of His Son (even the blood that came from “by His stripes we are healed”), and penned the New Contract with it.

This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—

an agreement confirmed with my blood,” (NLT 1 Corin. 11:25).

    1. I will not remember your sins
    2. I will be your personal tutor.
    3. I will be your God and You will be my People.
      (…those who are in this contract may ask anything in my Son’s name, in faith, and they will have it.)

Endnotes—————–

[1] Vincent Cheung. “Our Contract with God.” Web. July 2020. www.vincentcheung.com

[2]  Vincent Cheung. “Our Contract with God.” Web. July 2020. www.vincentcheung.com 
( https://www.vincentcheung.com/2020/07/21/our-contract-with-god/ )

The Fluidness Of Fluidness

Douglas Wilson commenting on the culture says,

Euro-centric Truth?
The central driving engine of all this current pomo madness is the idea that a commitment to fixed, objective truth is itself a Euro-Western form of racism and oppression. …”[1]

This has been my experience of the culture as well.

First. Their “fluidness,” is a revised version of the white Greek philosopher, Protagoras, and his skepticism and relativism. The exception is that instead of public debates of the Skeptics Vs Plato or St. Augustine, Protagoras’ philosophy is applied in a political strong-armed way. I do not use inductive historical arguments, but for sake of argument we are assuming it. The point is that they are using a Euro-centric philosophy to say Euro-centric philosophy is bad. Stupid.

Secondly, they cannot attack objective truth without using objective truth; otherwise, their attack would also be an endorsement of what they are attacking. But if they are endorsing my position, then they are celebrating the fact Jesus is Lord, and they are wrong and under God’s judgment.

For their position to be true it would have to be false at the same time. If they attack my position it would mean their mom is a fish, and all dogs are trees, therefore, all cars are fingers.

In addition, fluidness must be, well, fluid. For example, a position of progressivism to be true, then the foundation of “progress” itself would also have to progress. Maybe it has already done so? And so, for fluidness to be true as a foundational standard, then the standard must also be fluid, so that fluidness might already mean to be rigidness.

Moreover, if they wish to say, all things are fluid except fluidness, and since this cannot be validly inferred from the standard, it would mean they must appeal to a higher first principle to produce such terms and knowledge. Will it be irrational empiricism, that when used with science commits a triple fallacy, and itself also falls into skepticism? But skepticism denies the law of contradiction.[2]

Third. Because skepticism (and all its siblings of relativism, fluidness, etc) denies the law of contradiction, it means their epistemology gives no knowledge period. Forget abstract concepts of ethics, and truth, their epistemology cannot give them terms such as “sky,” “man,” “tree,” or “dog.” A contradiction both affirms and denies the same term, thus, they cancel each other out in an infinite regress. Thus, you cannot affirm or deny anything. You cannot affirm your own position or deny your opponents. It means if they are thinking anything, they are denying their own position. Also, the laws of logic are not only laws of thought, they are also laws of reality. Back to our point of affirming or denying. Skepticism does not allow one to affirm or deny anything, but, to even say this with intelligence, one must affirm it or deny it. They use the very thing their position denies. A more pragmatic example might help. If one tries to deny their own existence, (“I do not exist”), they are forced to use their own existence to do it. Their use of it proves it, despite what their lips say. Thus, reality stops them from doing a contradiction in this world. A contradiction is something that has no being in the mind or in the world. A contradiction is implausible with metaphysics.

Lastly, Christianity has a doctrine of logic, and intelligence. The Bible also says that all others are false, and only God has revealed truth. If they must borrow the things necessary for any intelligence from the Bible, and because it also says all others are false, it means they are false by logical necessity.[3]

—–EndNotes—–

[1] The Grace of White Privilege. Blog. Nov. 18. 2019.

[2] Also, did not this philosophy of empiricism come from David Hume, and thus is Euro-centric? Did not this Euro-centric philosophy drive much of the colonialism, and evolution and science-materialism; but I digress, because I do not rest my arguments on induction.

[3] This is a modified argument I got from Vincent Cheung (Captive To Reason. 2009. 44). www.vincentcheung.com

Logic & Jesus Christ: The Law of Non-Contradiction

These are the most basic for 2 reasons. One, they are the most fundamental to the motion of God’s mind itself. God’s knowledge is the content of His mind logic is the motion of God’s mind.  If we do not follow these most basic motions, then we no longer think. Second, they form the foundation for all other logics and mathematics.

The best advice I can give for being better at logic, and thinking more like God is practice. Particularly, to practice in the basics of logic, such as the three basic laws, defining terms, having precise and truthful premises, avoiding informal follicles and lastly to make valid inferences.  It is not good enough to just read a book on logic, but one must practice over and over until it becomes second nature. This lesson is to practice the most basic, the Law of non-contradiction. For this reason I will post several people teaching on this for your practice of it.

FIRST. The law of contradiction.

Jesus appeals to it in,

Mark 12:37, “Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?” And the common people heard Him gladly.”

If the LoC is not an immutable motion of thinking, then Jesus’ appeal to it would mean David’s son(Jesus) is not David’s Lord and is David’s Lord. They would cancel each other out. There would be no doctrine to affirm or deny. There would be no knowldge, no thinking.  Jesus’ point was the David’s promised Son is not merely human, for if so, then he could not be David’s Lord. But since this promised son is the God-man, then it is possible for Him to be both David’s son, physically, but also David’s Lord because He is the eternal Son of God.  This means the laws of identity (thus, no category fallacies) and non-contradiction are not violated. Subjects and predicates are put together in proper categories and affirmed in understanding.

Also, in 1 Corinthians 14:7, “Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?

For a word or sound to have intellectual meaning it must not only mean something, it must also not mean something: it must have definite meaning; it must make a distinction from other meanings.  Aristotle’s explanation will open up what this means more.

Below is Clark to talk about the meaning behind the Law of noncontradiction. I could just give a symbolic notation for the Law such as ( A is B” and “A is not B”) are exclusive of each other, or give it in Natural Deduction, but on this matter a more in-depth explanation seems to be better to due to the importance of the subject.  I prefer to see circle diagrams in my mind for a visual help.

If Oshea is predicated in the category of “man,” then there is no way for the category of non-man to be predicated to Oshea because of the immediate deduction of (obversion)[1], “Oshea is a man,” is “No Oshea is non-man.” That is, to destroy the LoC would be to fail the rest of logic/Logos, it would kill God in essence. God could not affirm, “Jesus is My only Son,” because it could men “Jesus is not My only Son.” Jesus could not affirm that He is the truth, because it could be that Jesus is not the truth. See diagram.

For Doctrine: There are many verses which directly teach or use logic in the Bible. Jesus is the Logos. Jesus appeals the law of non-contradiction. Jesus at times would not quote the O.T. but only use logic to refute His opponents. We are made in His image.  Thus, within the doctrine of Systematic Theology, there is a Doctrine of Logic. Christians ought to know this better.

Man - NON-man LoC

Cannot Deny It!

I deny the Law of non-Contradiction.” I must use the LoC to say this premise, otherwise, my denying of the LoC would men, “I affirm the Law of -non-Contradiction.”

Words are not important.” If that is the case, then the words I used to say words are not important are not important.

Anyone who says anything absolutely is arrogant.” If this is not said absolutely, then it does not apply to me, and so I do not care. But if the person who said it, does say it absolutely(as a dogmatic), then they by definition, are arrogant.

These statements, in order for them to be true, must be false at the same time. But the world I live in is not false. My existence is not false; that is, I must us my existence to deny it, and thus, I prove it.

St. Augustine had a way to show the stupidity of skepticism with the self-authenticating aspect of the LoC, by asking his opponent, “would you please deny your own existence (hint: without using it)?”

This is an important aspect ( must use the LoC to deny it) to remember, because Romans 1 says that the non-Christian is a moron because they cannot rationally deny God’s innate knowledge He put in them.

Romans 1:20-22, 2:14-15 (NLT)

20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no [rational denese]* for not knowing God.

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools [Morons].

 Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. 15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts

*Strongs Greek. “ἀναπολόγητος [anapologetos /an·ap·ol·og·ay·tos/] adj. From 1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of 626; GK 406; Two occurrences; AV translates as “without excuse” once, and “inexcusable” once.
1 without defense or excuse. 2 that which cannot be defended, inexcusable.”

This is where we get the word Apologetics. It is like a lawyer in court giving an objective rational defence for something.  In context of God writing His laws on our minds–then  when we see the world it stimulates this innate knowldge of God to our thoughts– is the logical reason why it is impossible to give a rational defence for suppressing God’s truth.  To do so, one must use God’s innately written truths to deny it; thus, they prove it.  This is not the Law of contradiction itself,  but a method using it to show its undeniablity.  Vincent Cheung has do a good job explaining this “method” (don’t confuse this for the apologetic itself, which is the Bible) for Christian apologetics. See his book, Ultimate Questions.  Also, Gordon Clark,  A Christian View of Men and Things.

Because the Bible speaks about this in context of Christian apologetics then it a doctrine Christian ought to know and practice.

Aristotle[2]

It is an amazing coincidence of history that Plato and Aristotle (384-323 B.C.) lived in the same century and that the latter was the pupil of the former. No other century can boast of such an amount of genius; no other pupil had such a teacher, and no other teacher had such a pupil. Extreme enthusiasm for Kant or Hegel might place the one or the other nearly on a level with Plato or Aristotle, but sober judgment fails to find an equal combination anywhere. Coincidences of history, however, may be of little significance. It is the clash of ideas that is important.

In the last chapter, in the section on the Parmenides, it was stated that Aristotle accepted the objections which Plato raised against his own theory. And there are others also. Accordingly, Aristotle considered the world of Ideas as a useless duplication of this world: useless, quite aside from the apparently intolerable difficulties involved in Platonism, because skepticism and all the troubles inherited from the Presocratics can be satisfactorily removed without its dubious aid. The student should be forewarned that Aristotle is not building on unaltered Platonic foundations; but precisely what Aristotle accepts from Plato and what he rejects, and how he combines and modifies the several factors, is a long and intricate story which makes Aristotle one of the hardest philosophers to understand. Then, too, his dull and methodical style does not cheer the flagging spirit. Plato was a vigorous and stimulating writer; he could combine the subtleties of epistemology, the excitement of politics, and the mathematical awe of astronomy all in one dialogue. The interrelations of the subjects, he constantly keeps before our eyes. Aristotle, on the contrary, carefully devotes one book to Logic, another to Physics, another to Psychology, and so on. This method undoubtedly has advantages, but the interrelations, which still exist, are hidden from view and must be sought out.

The Law of Contradiction

It is most appropriate to begin an account of Aristotle with some reference to his views on logic because the books on logic are logically put first in the corpus, and because his discussion of the fundamental laws of logic – the law of contradiction and the law of excluded middle – though taken from the Metaphysics, Book Gamma, forms a firm connection between earlier philosophy and the body of Aristotelian thought. For if Aristotle rejects the essential principles of Platonism, we should see at once how he will avoid the skepticism of Protagoras. Also it is at this point that the connection between logic and natural philosophy in general can be most clearly seen. For although logic aims to discover the principles on which all true judgment depends, it is not a merely formal science of thinking; but rather, since truth requires a relation to reality, the laws of logic must be not only the laws of thought, but the laws of reality as well.

Logic and Reality

Aristotle introduces the topic by questioning whether logic and reality are the objects of the same science or of two different sciences. In view of the fact that the truths of logic and the principles of reality apply universally and are not restricted to any special field of study, Aristotle concludes that they belong to the same science. The truths of botany or of geometry, on the other hand, do not apply universally: Geometry concerns being in so far as it occupies space, and botany is limited to being as it exhibits nutrition and growth. Yet all the special sciences make common use of the laws of logic because these laws hold for all reality, and not merely for that part of reality that the special science studies. But the special sciences use logic without discussing it. It would be incongruous for a botanist or an astronomer to discuss the nature of truth and the law of contradiction. No doubt some of the Presocratics did so, and their inclusion of this material is perhaps defensible on the ground that they thought they were discussing the whole of reality. But in this they were mistaken; for nature is only one genus of reality, and physics, while it is a kind of wisdom, is not the first kind. Therefore there must be a still more universal science that deals with primary being, and to this science Aristotle sometimes gives the name of First Philosophy. As the botanist or physicist is responsible for the most general principles within his special sphere, principles applying to the particular kind of being that forms the subject matter of that science, so the philosopher must state and explain the principles that apply to being without qualification, to all being without exception, to being qua being – principles that are absolutely universal without any restriction at all. It is therefore the prerogative of philosophy, and not of botany or any other special science, to study the most general principles of all existence.

The most certain of all principles is the law of contradiction, for it is impossible to be mistaken about it. It is not an hypothesis, a tentative by which to rise to something more general, for a principle which everyone must have who knows anything about being cannot be so characterized. The principle is this: The same attribute cannot attach and not attach to the same thing in the same respect. Or, otherwise, contrary attributes cannot belong to the same subject at the same time. This principle, be it noted again, is stated not merely as a law of thought, but primarily as a law of being. The ontological form is basic; the purely logical is derivative: It becomes a law of thought because it is first a law of being. If anyone should object to the law of contradiction and should assert, as Heraclitus is supposed to have done, that contrary attributes attach to the same thing, it would be necessary to conclude that he cannot believe what he says. For if we have shown that the number three cannot be both odd and even, and that a stone cannot be both heavy and light, and so on, then it follows that no one can think that three is both odd and even, even though he verbally makes such an assertion. Anyone who pretended to believe that contrary attributes attach to the same subject would be affirming two contrary opinions at the same time; and these two opinions would be, as it were, two contrary attributes attaching to him as a subject. But this is what the law of contradiction makes impossible.

Indemonstrable Axioms[3]

Not only has the Heraclitean coexistence of contraries been maintained, but there are some writers who, thinking that the above derivation of psychological from ontological impossibility is circular, demand that the law of contradiction be formally demonstrated [deduced]. This demand, however, evinces their ignorance. The demonstration [deduction] of a proposition, such as any theorem in geometry, is completed only when it is referred to the axioms. If the axioms in turn required demonstration [deduction], the demonstration [deduction] of the proposition with which we began would remain incomplete, at least until the axioms could be demonstrated [deduced]. But if the axioms rest on prior principles, and if these too must be demonstrated [deduced] – on the assumption that every proposition requires demonstration – the proof of our original theorem would never be finished. This means that it would be impossible to demonstrate [deduce] anything, for all demonstration [deduction] depends on indemonstrable [non-deducible] first principles. Every type of philosophy must make some original assumptions. And if the law of contradiction is not satisfactory, at least these Heracliteans fail to state what principle they regard as more so. Nonetheless, though the law of contradiction is immediately evident and is not subject to demonstration, there is a negative or elenctic[indirect] argument that will reduce the opposition to silence.

Significant Speech

The negative method avoids the charge of begging the question, for it is the opponent and not oneself who makes the assertion. Of course, this depends on the opponent’s willingness to say something. The proof aims to show the opponent who attacks the law of contradiction that so soon as he says anything at all, he is recognizing the principle. If he should say nothing, we have neither an opponent nor an objection to face. Nor need we insist that he make some tricky admission that plays into our hands. All that is required is that he say something significant for himself and for us, for this is the presupposition of every understanding between two persons, or even of one person’s understanding himself. Let the opponent then say something: that three is an odd number or that Socrates is a man. It will always be of the form, x is y. Now, in the first place, the word is has a definite meaning and does not mean is not. Therefore, Protagoras was mistaken when he said that everything is and is not.1 But perhaps the argument will be clearer if we consider the x and the y.

In any sentence the predicate, the y, must have a single, definite meaning; and when we say that x is y, or that Socrates is a man, we are asserting of Socrates the meaning of man, whatever it may be – two-footed animal, perhaps. Thus we assert something definite. The remark that words have several meanings will not damage this contention, provided the meanings are limited in number. Suppose the word man had ten different meanings: It would be possible to invent ten different terms so that each term would stand for a single meaning; and once more the predicate and the assertion as a whole would be definite. If, however, terms had an infinite number of meanings, then all reasoning would come to an end. For if a word is to convey a significance, it must not only mean something, it must also not mean something. If it had all the meanings of all the terms in the dictionary, it would be useless in speech. Therefore, if terms had an infinite number of meanings, no term would have one meaning; and not to have one meaning is to have no meaning; but if words have no meaning, it is impossible to argue with other people or even to reason privately within oneself. If we do not think one thing, we think nothing; but if we can think of one thing, then we can assign to it a single unambiguous term. On this basis it is impossible that being a man should mean precisely not being a man, or that perception should be non-perception, or that a wind should be both y and not-y. And this is in reality a justification of the law of contradiction.

The Sophists, both of antiquity and of the present, ignoring the ontological basis of this argument, attempt the reply that what one person calls a man, another may call a mouse and not a man. Hence the same thing would be both man and not-man. But this is elementary ambiguity. The question is not whether a subject can be man and not-man in name, but whether it can be so actually or ontologically. If man and not-man mean two different things, as was indicated above, and if man means two-footed animal, it follows that anything that is a man must be a biped. But if this must be so, i.e., if this is necessary, the contrary is impossible: It is impossible that the subject should not be a two-footed animal, and hence the same subject cannot possibly be both man and not-man.

Denial of Substance

Further to refute his opponents, Aristotle plunges into logical and ontological complexities that will try the most ambitious student. Those who argue against the law of contradiction must also deny substance and reality. To explain how this is so and why it is absurd requires reference to the theory of categories, later to be explained. To anticipate, however, it may be briefly stated that a category is a predicate; or, more precisely, the ten categories are the ten types of possible predicates. For example, of Socrates it may be said that he is a man, he is ugly, he is wise, he is short, he is heavy, and perchance he is a musician. But of these, the predicate man holds a favored position. Heavy and musical are accidental predicates; that is, it is not necessary or essential to being a man that one should be heavy or musical: There are men who are frail and unmusical. These predicates and other accidental predicates fall under the categories of quality, quantity, relation, or others. But the predicate man, when one says that Socrates is a man, is no accident: Man is what Socrates essentially is. The predicate man falls under the category of substance or reality. And the category of substance is basic because there can be no quality or quantity unless there is a substance that it is the quality of.

The Sophistic opponents of logic, however, do away with substance, for they must say that all attributes are accidents, and that no subject is essentially man. The line of reasoning behind this is as follows. To be essentially and substantially man is incompatible with being not-man or not being man, for when we say that Socrates is essentially man, we are designating his substance; and to designate a thing’s substance, essence, or reality is to deny that it is essentially or really something else. The skeptical relativists must say, therefore, that nothing can be defined, and that all attributes are accidental. But if all predication is accidental, there will be no reality of which the predication is made, and predication would be endless. This, however, is impossible, because, far from being endless, not more than two terms can be joined in accidental predication. We may say that the musician is blond or even that the blond is musical; but the accidental conjunction of blond and musical is possible only because they are both accidents of the same reality – Socrates perhaps. In the absence of an underlying subject of which both are predicates, blond could not be predicated of musical nor musical of blond. Now, when we say that Socrates is musical or that Socrates is blond, the predicate is not related to its subject as in the previous predications, for, while blond and musical were equally accidents of an underlying reality, Socrates and musical are not thus on the same level as accidents of some third subject. Socrates is not a predicate at all, and hence there cannot be an infinite series of predicates: Every series must end with a reality.

As this section of Aristotle is somewhat subtle, and as its importance has been seen in Plato’s refutation of Protagoras, it will be well to elaborate a little. Aristotle may be willing to admit that the law of contradiction as stated does not hold for accidental predication. The musician can be white; yet since white is “not-musical,” the musician can be “not-musical.” But with substantial predication, the case is different. Suppose we ask the opponent if A is a man. He could answer, Yes, but he is also white and musical, and these are not-man; hence, A is man and not-man. This answer is correct to the extent that a subject may have an indefinite number of accidents; but so understood the answer is beside the point. Our original question was, Is A essentially a man? If the opponent ignores the “essentially,” as he did in the answer just given, he should list all the accidents – all, and that includes the negative as well as the positive ones. He should therefore say A is man, musical, white, not-green and therefore blue, not-ship and therefore house. For, if it is true that man is not-man, as the opponent claimed just above, it is all the more true that man is not-ship; but since house is not-ship and since on this theory contrary accidents attach, the man must be both a house and also a ship. Such a list of accidents would be infinite. Yet, if the opponent begins to list these accidents, he ought to continue with them. Let him give all or none. There is no reason for specifying only three or four. From which it follows that if he begins and continues, he will take so long that we shall be spared the trouble of answering him. In other words, if the opponent depends on accidental predication, if he repudiates the distinction between substantial and accidental predication, discussion ends. On this theory no predicate is definitive, and the metaphysical implication is that reality does not exist.

Now, to repeat a thought previously stated near the beginning of this analysis of the law of contradiction: This analysis or “proof” is a negative or elenctic one. It is not a demonstration based on more original principles. A careless reading might conclude that the law is demonstrated from the principle that every word must have a single meaning. But the truth of the matter is quite the reverse. Aristotle is saying rather that every word must have a single meaning because the principle of contradiction holds. He is applying the law to this particular case. And the particular case is chosen for the purpose of showing that an opponent cannot carry through his own theory. He becomes tangled in an infinite regress and must drop out of the argument. Therefore, if anyone, including the opponent, wishes to argue, reason, discuss, or say anything meaningful, he must presuppose the law of contradiction. Hence, this law is not demonstrated from some higher principle, but Aristotle shows that it must be presupposed by anyone who wishes to speak intelligibly.

The inanity of skeptical relativism was hinted at in the remark above that the musician must be a not-ship and therefore a house. This has a further ontological implication. If contradictory statements are true of the same subject at the same time, evidently all things will be the same thing. Socrates will be a ship, a house, as well as a man; but then Crito too will be a ship, a house, and a man. But if precisely the same attributes attach to Crito that attach to Socrates, it follows that Socrates is Crito. Not only so, but the ship in the harbor, since it has the same list of attributes too, will be identified with this Socrates-Crito person. In fact, everything will be everything. Therefore, everything will be the same thing. All differences among things will vanish and all will be one. Such is the metaphysical nonsense to be derived from Protagoras or anyone else who denies the law of contradiction.[4]

As a Christian deductionalist it is important to consider logic and theology proper.  Thus, here is Clark to talk about John 1:1.  Clark’s board focus is, “the Logic was God,” but particularly he focuses on the law of non-contradiction and the motion of God’s thinking.

Gordon Clark. He explains how the LOGOS is the Divine Nature itself. Thus, not only is logic a doctrine taught from the Bible, it is a Ultimate Question of life for man.

Logic Is God

It is to be hoped that these remarks on the relation between God and truth will be seen as pertinent to the discussion of logic. In any case, the subject of logic can be more clearly introduced by one more Scriptural reference. The well-known prologue to John’s Gospel may be paraphrased, “In the beginning was Logic, and Logic was with God, and Logic was God…. In logic was life and the life was the light of men.”

This paraphrase-in fact, this translation-may not only sound strange to devout ears, it may even sound obnoxious and offensive. But the shock only measures the devout person’s distance from the language and thought of the Greek New Testament. Why it is offensive to call Christ Logic, when it does not offend to call him a word, is hard to explain. But such is often the case. Even Augustine, because he insisted that God is truth, has been subjected to the anti-intellectualistic accusation of “reducing” God to a proposition. At any rate, the strong intellectualism of the word Logos is seen in its several possible translations: to wit, computation, (financial) accounts, esteem, proportion and (mathematical) ratio, explanation, theory or argument, principle or law, reason, formula, debate, narrative, speech, deliberation, discussion, oracle, sentence, and wisdom.

Any translation of John 1:1 that obscures this emphasis on mind or reason is a bad translation. And if anyone complains that the idea of ratio or debate obscures the personality of the second person of the Trinity, he should alter his concept of personality. In the beginning, then, was Logic.

That Logic is the light of men is a proposition that could well introduce the section after next on the relation of logic to man. But the thought that Logic is God will bring us to the conclusion of the present section. Not only do the followers of Bernard entertain suspicions about logic, but also even more systematic theologians are wary of any proposal that would make an abstract principle superior to God. The present argument, in consonance with both Philo and Charnock, does not do so. The law of contradiction is not to betaken as an axiom prior to or independent of God. The law is God thinking.

For this reason also the law of contradiction is not subsequent to God. If one should say that logic is dependent on God’s thinking, it is dependent only in the sense that it is the characteristic of God’s thinking. It is not subsequent temporally, for God is eternal and there was never a time when God existed without thinking logically. One must not suppose that God’s will existed as an inert substance before he willed to think.

As there is no temporal priority, so also there is no logical or analytical priority. Not only was Logic the beginning, but Logic was God. If this unusual translation of John’s Prologue still disturbs someone, he might yet allow that God is his thinking. God is not a passive or potential substratum; he is actuality or activity. This is the philosophical terminology to express the Biblical idea that God is a living God. Hence logic is to be considered as the activity of God’s willing.

Although Aristotle’s theology is no better (and perhaps worse) than his epistemology, he used a phrase to describe God, which, with a slight change, may prove helpful. He defined God as “thought-thinking-thought.” Aristotle developed the meaning of this phrase so as to deny divine omniscience. But if we are clear that the thought which thought thinks includes thought about a world to be created-in Aristotle God has no knowledge of things inferior to him-the Aristotelian definition of God as “thought-thinking-thought” may help us to understand that logic, the law of contradiction, is neither prior to nor subsequent to God’s activity.

This conclusion may disturb some analytical thinkers. They may wish to separate logic and God. Doing so, they would complain that the present construction merges two axioms into one. And if two, one of them must be prior; in which case we would have to accept God without logic, or logic without God; and the other one afterward. But this is not the presupposition here proposed. God and logic are one and the same first principle, for John wrote that Logic was God. At the moment this much must suffice to indicate the relation of God to logic. [5]

H.W.B. Joseph gives a short summary of the Three Laws of Logic.

The Three Laws of Thought.

The connection between questions about our thinking, and what we must think things to be, is excellently shown in the so-called Laws of Thought. These are certain very general principles exemplified in all thinking, and some have supposed the task of Logic to consist merely in developing their implications. They are known as the Law of Identity, the Law of Contradiction, and the Law of Excluded Middle. The Law of Identity may be formulated by saying that whatever is, is ‘ : or symbolically, that A is A’ ; the Law of Contradiction, that ‘ a thing cannot both be and not be so and so ‘ that ‘ contradictory propositions cannot both be true ‘, or that A cannot be B and not be B ; the Law of Excluded Middle, that is a thing either is or is not so and so ‘, that contradictory propositions cannot both be false ‘, or that ‘ A either is or is not B ‘. In other words, if we think about anything, then (1) we must think that it is what it is; (2) we cannot think that it at once has a character and has it not; (3) We must think that it either has it or has it not.
Now though these are called laws of thought, and in fact, we cannot think except in accordance with them, yet they are really statements which we cannot but hold true about things. We cannot think contradictory propositions, because we see that a thing cannot have at once and not have the same character; and the so-called necessity of thought is really the apprehension of a necessity in the being of things. This we may see if we ask what would follow, were it a necessity of thought only; for then, while e.g. I could not think at once that this page is and is not white, the page itself might at once be white and not be white. But to admit this is to admit that I can think the page to have and not have the same character, in the very act of saying that I cannot think it; and this is self-contradictory. The Law of Contradiction then is metaphysical or Ontological.

So also, is the Law of Identity. It is because what is must be determinately what it is, that I must so think. That is why we find a difficulty in admitting the reality of absolute change, change when nothing remains the same; for then we cannot say what it is which changes.

The Law of Excluded Middle is so far different as a disjunctive proposition expresses doubt, and doubt belongs to the mind, not to things. But to deny that this page need either be or not be white is to deny that it need be anything definite; determinateness involves the mutual exclusiveness of determinate characters, which is the ground of negation; and that is a statement about things. In other words, unless the primary Laws of Thought were Laws of Things, our thought would be doomed by its very nature to misapprehend the nature of things.[6]

Vincent Cheung explains the concept of how a contradiction cancels the two propositions out. Thus, in theology there would be no doctrine to affirm or deny. There would be no salvation, no God or no man to affirm or deny.

For any proposition that affirms X, the proposition that contradicts it is one that affirms not-X. This is what a contradiction means. Any proposition that affirms one thing is by necessity also a denial of its opposite. To affirm X is to deny not-X, and to affirm not-X is to deny X. To keep this simple, let us assume that Y = not-X, so that the opposite of X is Y. Thus to affirm X is to deny Y, and to affirm Y is to deny X. Or, X = not-Y, and Y = not-X. Then, since to affirm a proposition is to deny its opposite, to affirm X and Y at the same time is the equivalent of affirming not-Y and not-X. Thus to affirm two contradictory propositions is in reality to deny both. But to affirm both not-Y and not-X is also to affirm X and Y, which again means to deny Y and X. And so the whole operation becomes meaningless. The upshot is that it is impossible to affirm two contradictory propositions at the same time.

To affirm the proposition, “Adam is a man” (X), is to deny the contradictory proposition, “Adam is not a man” (Y, or not-X). Likewise, to affirm the proposition, “Adam is not a man” (Y), is to deny the contradictory proposition, “Adam is a man” (X). Now, to affirm both “Adam is a man” (X) and “Adam is not a man” (Y) is only to deny both propositions in reverse order. That is, it is equivalent to denying “Adam is not a man” (Y) and “Adam is a man” (X). But then we are back to affirming the two propositions in reverse order again. When we affirm both, we deny both; when we deny both, we affirm both. Therefore, there is no intelligible meaning in affirming two contradictory propositions. It is to say nothing and to believe nothing.

To illustrate, it is clear that divine sovereignty and human freedom contradict each other.[7]If God controls everything, including man’s thoughts, then man is not free from God. If man is free from God in any sense or to any degree, then God does not control everything.[8] Yet some theologians claim that the Bible teaches both divine sovereignty and human freedom, and so they insist that we must affirm both. However, since to affirm divine sovereignty is to deny human freedom, and to affirm human freedom is to deny divine sovereignty, then to affirm both only means to reject both divine sovereignty (in the form of an affirmation of human freedom) and human freedom (in the form of an affirmation of divine sovereignty). But to deny both means to affirm both in reverse order, and to affirm both means to deny both in reverse order again.

The necessary result is that the person who claims to believe both divine sovereignty and human freedom believes neither. In claiming to believe all of the Bible, he in fact believes none of it. In this example, since the Bible affirms divine sovereignty and denies human freedom, there is no contradiction – not even an apparent one. On the other hand, when non-Christians allege that the incarnation of Christ entails a contradiction, the Christian does not have the option to deny either the divinity or the humanity of Christ. Rather, he must formulate the doctrine as the Bible teaches it, and show that there is no contradiction. The same applies for the doctrine of the Trinity. In any case, if a person claims that he sees contradictions in the Bible, this means that he does not – he cannot – believe the Bible.

A popular response is that these are only apparent contradictions; that is, the doctrines only seem like contradictions to the mind of men, but they are in perfect harmony in the mind of God. This answer is futile. There is no difference between an apparent contradiction and an actual contradiction when it comes to affirming it. It remains that to affirm one thing is to deny the other at the same time, so that to affirm both is to deny both, and that to deny both is to affirm both again. Thus the person who affirms an apparent contradiction really affirms nothing and denies nothing. Whether the contradiction is only an apparent one is irrelevant. As long as it appears real to the person, it is real enough.

Moreover, how can a person distinguish between an apparent contradiction from an actual contradiction? He can never know that a contradiction is only an apparent one.

Unless he knows how to resolve the apparent contradiction, it will appear the same to him as an actual contradiction. And if he knows that a contradiction is only an apparent one, then he has already resolved it, and the term contradiction no longer applies. If we must tolerate apparent contradictions, then we must tolerate all contradictions. We often challenge non-Christian views on the basis that they contradict themselves. But if we tolerate apparent contradictions, then there is nothing to prevent non-Christians from claiming that the contradictions in their worldviews are only apparent ones.[9]

——-END NOTES——

[1] Obversion works because of the Law of Noncontradiction and excluded middle.

[2] Clark will be giving Aristotle’s explanation for the law of noncontradiction with his own commentary woven throughout. In General it seems Clark agreed with Aristotle’s indirect defense of the LoC because Clark used some similar remarks about the LoC and in defending the coherence of the Scripture against non-Christian worldviews in, “A Christian View of Men and Things,” see last chapter. And in his essay, “God and Logic.”

[3] Gordon is using the term “indemonstrable” as “non-deducible.” He states there are indirect arguments for logical tautologies. These are more like indrect methods to show. Similar to how a reductio ad adsurdum argument is an indirect use of denying the consequent.

[4] Gordon Clark. Thales To Dewey – A History of Philosophy. The Trinity Foundation. 2000. Pg.86-92. Chapter on Aristotle.

[] – Added by Author. Emphasis added by author.

[5] Gordon Clark, God and Logic.  Copyright © The Trinity Foundation, www.trinityfoundation.org. Post Office 68, Unicoi, Tennessee 37692
Phone: 423.743.0199 Fax: 423.743.2005

[6] H.W.B. Joseph. 1906. An introduction to LOGIC. Pg.13

Read the book here. https://archive.org/details/introductiontolo00jose/page/n6

[7] The doctrine of divine sovereignty will be discussed and applied throughout this book. Also see Vincent Cheung, Commentary on Ephesians and The Author of Sin.

[8] The doctrine of compatibilism teaches that man is not free from God, but that man is still free in a sense. However, unless the kind of freedom under consideration is freedom from God, it is irrelevant, since the topic concerns God’s control over man. See Vincent Cheung, The Author of Sin.

[9] Vincent Cheung. Systematic Theology. 2010. www.vincentcheung.com. Chapter, Scripture, sub-section, The Unity of Scripture.