Tag Archives: Jesus

Scripture: Sufficient to Condemn John MacArthur & Justin Peters

Justin Peters recently had an interview with John MacArthur. They touched on the subject of faith and miracles.

The first thing MacArthur says about the Charismatics is that their miracle seeking is “doubt looking for proof” and “looking for a sign to validate it.”

This is calling good is evil, and evil is good. It is saying black is white and white is black. This is a slight of hand fallacy to shift blame from oneself to something else. In the bible it was not those doing miracles and seeking to do more miracles, that Jesus said, “an evil generation seeks a sign,” it was said against those who did believe or do miracles and were asking Jesus and His followers to perform more signs for them. MacArthur and Peters are the same Pharisees today. They do not believe, and they are the ones who keep asking for a sign, (which is empirical evidence) to give proof if a doctrine is true for false. The Charismatic already believe, they do not seek signs, just as much as Jesus and the New Testament church did not seek signs, because they already believed. Paul said that Jesus was raised, not on empirical evidence, but because the Scripture’s say so. Empirical evidence can never give proof if any biblical doctrine is true or false; it cannot give a truth claim about any aspect of reality. People who ask for a sign, not only show them selves to be spiritual perverts and unbelieving, it shows they commit spiritual harlotry with empiricism as a starting point of knowledge over Scripture. Thus, when they say, “solo scriptura” what they really means is “solo empiricism,” or “sola David Hume.”

I would recommend these essays by Vincent Chung for more reading on this issue of who is really seeking a sign, and who is not. (I am not affiliated with Cheung, only recommending his material). The reformed have it in reverse order. Their doctrine is a 180 contradiction to scriptural doctrine.

The Sign of Jonah

Signs of an Apostle

The Miracle Majority

Behold, I Give You Power

Another issue brought up was the sufficiency of Scripture. I agree it is an important issue but for the opposite reason they state.  Peters said, “a growing battle today is not inerrancy of the Bible but the sufficiency of the Bible.” MacArthur then responds, “The bible gives you everything.” Other things don’t give you this such as, “philosophy or politics, or waiting around for a prophecy.”

Interestingly, considering how sufficient the bible is, the remark is then given by Peters, “the charismatic prophets do not have a good track record.” Yet, this is an appeal to a human starting point (empiricism)(& the fallacy of attacking the person not the argument). What it is not, is an appeal to the “sufficiency of bible,” and the Bible as their epistemology. Like I said before, ‘solo scriptura’ really means, ‘solo empiricism.’ It is a natural reflex for them to be stupid and sinful by appealing to empiricism rather than the Scripture, because they are reprobates. This is who they really are. They are men centered on men.

With a straight faces similar people have asked me, “why do we not see so many miracles today, unless God does not want it?” They are like the people from Jesus’ hometown who said, “This is Joseph’s and Mary’s son,” and then in unbelief demand He prove by miracles who He claims to be. But their unbelief made that impossible. These peers did not start with God’s revelation; rather, their starting point for knowledge was their human observations. Scripture records it was due to their lack of faith, and not the lack of Jesus being willing and able to heal. With such people I am asking myself, what happen to starting with God’s revelation for knowledge? Where did God go? Why is it so automatic for them to start with a “human” speculation and “human” superstition?

If they only mean to do a personal attack (a logical fallacy) by saying, “Oshea (or Johnny), how many miracles have you done,” then why do they default to argumentation that the politicians use?  Is it because politicians are such good examples for how to argue for truth?

They are like the religious leaders who slapped Jesus and demanded He prove His claim as God by prophesying. They harlot themselves with David Hume’s empiricism in the open streets, and then march back in their pulpits, and after wiping off their sweaty faces, they say with a straight face, “solo scriptura.”  Maybe if they could stop humping on empiricism for just a few seconds, they might wake up and realize the disgrace they are committing against their own souls, and against those who hear them.

For a detailed explanation for how Scripture is sufficient to condemn Peters and MacArthur read the following essays.

Scripture: Sufficient Against Cessationism

Prehistoric Orthodoxy

Lastly, MacArthur responds with this,

If God gave miraculous gifts, why would He give it to people with such bad theology?”

I remember a quote from Vincent Cheung that gives a reason why God does such things.

“Christian ministers who teach this are often far from perfect, and subject to many criticisms, but this does not invalidate the point. Why do you think God allows many of these teachers to be so flawed and unrefined? He places a stumbling block to trip up those who walk in religious pride, who thumb their noses at those who do not present the promises of God in the way they like. God will put his blessings right in front of them, and they will fail to receive. This is his way to withhold the gospel from the unbelieving and hard-hearted.”[1]

——END NOTES——-

[1] Vincent Cheung. “God’s Extravagant Blessings.” Fulcrum. 2017 pg.33

Think On These Things: Think on Healing & Miracles

“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are pleasing, whatever things are commendable, if there is any excellence of character and if anything, praiseworthy, think about these things. And the things which you have learned and received and heard about and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you,”
Philippians 4:8-9 LEB.

Thoughts of sickness are a lie against the promise of God; thoughts of sickness are not honorable, not right and they are not pure of heart. Thoughts of sickness are not pleasing, and not commendable. They are not excellence of character and or praiseworthy.

Thoughts of Healing are an agreement that the promises of God are true. They are honorable. Thoughts of healing are right, are pure and pleasing. Thoughts of healing are commendable, and they are excellence of character. Thoughts of healing are praiseworthy.

Does this sound strange to you? If it does you are out of touch with reality; you do not know God, the gospel or scripture.

Healing is part of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, (Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:17); it is by biblical definition part of the gospel. The gospel is good, it is trustworthy, praiseworthy, excellent, and so forth.

Sin is not good, not praiseworthy, not excellent and so forth. For a Christian forgiveness of all their sins by Jesus’ finished work is a stepping stone; a doorway into the next life. To stay at this doorway, means you do not believe you are forgiven, which is why you never enter into or believe the gospel. The only correct way for a Christian to think of sin, is being already judged and buried in Jesus’ death. Sin, death and judgment are behind the Christian. Value, unmerited favor and joy is before the Christian. Hebrews 10:2-3 says that the Old Testament yearly sacrifices reminded the minds and thoughts of the practitioners of their sin. The writer of Hebrews says this was not a good thing for the mind to be reminded of our sins. To be reminded of ones sins, if you are indeed forgiven, is not excellent or praiseworthy. They were reminded of their sins, because Christ had not yet come. Hebrews later states that Jesus once and for all removes our sins from us. The pragmatic implication is that our minds and thoughts are not reminded about or sins; rather, we are reminded of our new identity in Christ. We are the righteousness of God and co-heirs with Jesus. By His great love we are children of God.  Thus, it is not a good thing to be mindful and dwell on your sins. You are to be renewed by thinking about Jesus, and who are “presently” in Him. This is praiseworthy and excellent.

Paul says in Romans 6 we are to assent that we were buried in Jesus’ death. Our sin, by His atonement, was dealt with and buried. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, that we at one time knew Jesus from a human point of view, but we do NOT know Him this way any longer.  He is on the throne, ruling and pouring out the baptism of the Spirit. Our thoughts are to be on this present reality of Jesus. Paul extends this to us. The old man is gone, with all our sin and judgment for that sin. Our new creation is our present reality, and this is where our thoughts ought to be. Thus to “think on these things,” is not thinking about our sin, but how righteous God sees us as. God interacts with us, as the righteousness of God.

The pragmatic application is if your circumstances or Satan tries to remind you of your sins, you are not indulge this temptation by thinking about your sins; rather, you are put off this old-man way of thinking, and put on the new-man, who thinks about how completely forgiven he is and how boldly he can march into the throne room of God and ask and receive.

The same is true for healing and sickness. Sickness is part of curses of Adam and of the Law (Deut. 28). Jesus, by substitutionary atonement, became our curses. Jesus was nailed to our curses of sickness. Even when leapers who needed to be healed, under the Law, a blood sacrifice was given. Healing is shown under the Law, that a substitutionary sacrifice is needed. Jesus was our substitutionary sacrifice to redeem us from all sickness.  Isaiah 53:4 says Jesus “bore” (same word for the substitution atonement for the escape goat in Lev. 16) sickness and pains.[1]

Curses are not honorable, excellence, praiseworthy, etc. And yet, sickness is a curse.

Sickness is a curse; it is not excellent. Sickness is a curse; it is not praiseworthy. Sickness is a curse; it is not honorable. Sickness is a curse; it is not “true” regarding what God has promised.

When tempted by circumstances and the devil to keep rehearsing your sickness over and over in your mind, do not sin by doing this; rather, be obedient and put on the new-man who thinks on the finished work of Jesus who bore all your sickness and pains, who was nailed to your sickness and how these died with Him, on His body, so that you are freed and released from all of them. God is for your body, so much so, He made it part of the gospel. He is the God who heals you.

To indulge on thoughts of your sins or sickness is in direct disobedience of the Scripture commanding us to “think on these things.” Rejoice! You are commanded to think on righteousness, healing, blessings, miracles, peace with God, Joy and unending unmerited favor upon you.  Rejoice.

[1] For more see, Christ our Healer. FF Bosworth.

God will boast about you!

I do not know you and so I will keep my thoughts on a basic level.

I will pray for you.

I am glad to hear you know your wrongs and desire to correct them. This self-awareness and disposition of your soul, about your mistakes and seeking God for help and restoration is something you must not lose, at all costs. This is a must have for proof you are saved.

If you read my essay, “God Rekindles Smoldering Wicks,” you know I once struggled with deep depression and came close to suicide. I know what it is to have a battle within the soul. I talked about having a relentless focus on God and His promises and His positive definition of me as a child of God in His Son. I still go over the promise verses listed there, almost daily. I make them my daily food. This was Vincent’s basic advice to me and it was great advice. I also take the Lord’s Supper almost daily in worship. I read faith devotions and materials, a few times daily.

And this brings me to my next point. Although I quote Vincent Cheung often, what got me out of my pit, had nothing to do with being a good little Clark or Cheung. Your statement about being a “good little Clark,” concerns me. It seems you being centered on “men” rather than “God,” is more natural for you. You might want to disagree with me on this, but in my experience people who say what you did, are in fact centered more on man than God. I am not saying you are unsaved by this, but that, at the very least, the natural tendency of your mind is not going to God first. If you want out of the pit, you must put off this old man, that thinks of man, and put on the new man, that is renewed by putting a mind that first thinks and sees yourself as a child of God standing in the very throne room of Yahweh. It must become secondhand nature for you to see yourself as a prince who belongs in the throne room of God your Father.

When I was getting out of the pit, I did not think of Vincent or Clark or any man. I pounded my mind with the word of God, and from this foundation began to pray in line with who God says I am, and all the good things He has blessed me with. Also having spiritual strength and faith to command demonic attacks and oppressive thoughts to leave is important, if that is how the evil one is attacking you. I could have memorized all that Vincent Cheung has ever wrote, but when I approach God in prayer, it means nothing. What matters are the promises of God and taking an immovable stance on them. When I approach the holy throne of God, what matters, is that I see myself as the righteousness of God, in Christ, so that this throne is a throne of grace and favor for me. Vincent, Clark, nor any man can help me or do this for me; they cannot do this for you either. When I approach God, I am clothed with the precious righteousness of Jesus Christ, who loves me. This is my faith, my hope and my shout of victory as I stand in the presence of God, asking for help. You should get to a point when standing in front of God, in His majestic throne room, before the elders, saints and angels, is more natural and reflexive than approaching any man.

Both in a divine trance/vison God gave me, and from advice from Vincent Cheung, I had to make a change to study more faith-based materials and devotionals and less theology. I needed to work on inner Spiritual strength more than going deeper in theology. I still study theology (and everyone is commanded by God to pursue theology), but my greater focus is inner strength now.

Systematic Theology is easy. Seriously, is it super easy! (This doesn’t mean there is no single point where it can be a little complicated). The older I get the more I realize this. Once I got it, I know it, and no one or demon can take it from me. God’s absolute and direct sovereignty over all things, is a child’s doctrine. Men ought not to boast about understanding it, as if it is a big accomplishment.

Faith is another issue. If you have faith to move mountains, then like the people mentioned in Hebrews 11, you are a man whom the world was not worthy to have known. That is worth boasting about! Like the gentile woman (or the Roman Centurion) who had with faith when Jesus sad it was not God’s will to heal her, but she took it anyway, God will publicly praise you! With faith, God will boast about you! Think about that. Rather than you wasting time boasting about men, with faith, God will use His time to boast about you. If you truly want God’s praise more than men, take an indomitable stance on faith. God’s approval, is the only type of praise that you should seek. Be a hero of faith.

Everyday I read devotions from those infamous health and wealth (word of faith) preachers, that everyone makes fun of. I obviously do not recommend them for overall Systematic Theology (for that see Vincent Cheung), but for basics of faith in God’s promises, I would recommend them to all. They are the only ones out there who obey and respect God by taking those promises of faith, deliverance, healing and material blessing with any kind of seriousness.

Vincent recommended me to leave my Reformed church, focus on spiritual strength with God’s word and faith-based devotions, and this was in addition to a divine vision I received from God about this. I encourage you to do the same. Even though this is not directly about how to deal with the immoral sin you committed, broadly speaking, it will be the way out of the pit. It will keep you out of the pit. It will even thrust you on top of the mountain of God, where God takes you by the hand and delivers you from all your troubles. God wants to do this. He said so. He promised it. He made all those wonderful promises and in blood ensures us He will always perform them, because He wanted to.

The promises are your definition. Listen carefully to me on this. God’s promises are not suggestions, they are in essence a technical definition of God’s children. They are you!

If turn your mind to this, so that these promises (definitions of you) are second nature to your thoughts, you will find yourself standing beside God on mount. Zion, looking down on all your troubles.  Turn you mind to the Jesus Christ in the gospels and book of Acts. He never left. He is waiting for you there.

-from email

The Human Ministry of Jesus Empowered by The Spirit

In this video ( Why We Won’t Sing Bethel Music in Our Church ),[1] Costi Hinn and friends accuse Bill Johnson of heresy concerning the incarnation or humanity of Jesus.

They quote Johnson saying, “laid His divinity aside,” “as a man,” and “did these miracles.” They say from this Johnson and other Charismatics like him teach the false doctrine we are to be like Jesus, by being filled with the Spirit and working miracles like Him.

Costi Hinn (along with Dale Thackrah Kyle Swanson) concludes that Johnson’s statements mean, “Jesus was not God, when He did these miracles,” and therefore it is “heresy to say Jesus was not God.”

I will not stay long on this point, other than to say, from what was quoted, (not regarding the totality of what Johnson says, for I have not read the book) Cosit slandered and bore false witness against Johnson. The phrase “laid His divinity aside,” could as easily mean, Jesus was still God, but did not chose to use all that was available to Him as God. For example, “Jesus grew in knowledge and wisdom,” does not mean Jesus “was not God”; rather, it means Jesus as a man, laid His infinite knowledge/wisdom aside, (i.e. chose not to use it), while the eternal Son of God still had His infinite knowledge (more on how this works later).

Jesus said that He “cast out Satan by the Spirit,” and not His own power. It was the Spirit who empowered the man Jesus Christ, for ministry, it was not Jesus’ own power that empowered Him for ministry. Jesus chose to use the power of the Spirit for ministry. This does not mean Jesus never used His own authority or power, in any way whatsoever, but that Jesus born as a man, under the Law, chose to operate in that limitation, and so was anointed by the Spirit (Isaiah 61) to do ministry and miracles. Jesus grew in knowledge like a normal man would; and this does not mean Jesus was not God or stop being divine. Example, I can choose to not use my right arm, without my arm ceasing to exit.

I do not know what all Johnson teaches on this, and I have no reason to care. What I care about it that these men claim to be intellectually and morally superior, and they are not; they are intellectually broken and morally wicked. They are slanderers.

For a more detailed look into what it means for the Son of God to be clothed in humanity, look at Vincent Cheung’s Systematic Theology (2010) pages 140-142.  Here are some selected quotes from this book.

“…In a similar way, the doctrinal formulation for the personhood and incarnation of Christ states that he is one in one sense, and two in a different sense. That is, he is one person who possesses two natures. To ensure the clarity and coherence of this doctrine, we need to define the terms and relate them to the doctrine of the Trinity. The way “nature” is used in the doctrine of the incarnation is similar to the way “essence” is used for the Trinity. They refer to the definition of something, and the definition of something refers to the attributes or properties of something. A “person” is again defined by the consciousness or intellect.

In the incarnation, God the Son took up a human nature, or human attributes. The divine and the human natures did not combine or mingle, so that both sets of attributes remained separate. His divine nature was not diminished by his human nature, and his human nature was not deified by his divine nature. Since the divine nature was not modified by the human nature, as indeed the divine nature cannot be modified, this doctrinal formulation reaffirms the immutability of God the Son. And indeed, a human nature cannot be deified, and neither can deity be conferred. Since deity is eternal, if a person is not deity to begin with, he can never become deity.

God the Son took up a human nature, and a human nature must include a human soul or mind. Although a “person” is defined in terms of the mind or intellect, the doctrine is that Christ remains one person even though he possesses two natures. This is so because of the definition of a person as a system of consciousness, and because of the nature of the relationship between the divine mind and the human mind.

First, we must insist that Christ is one “person,” because the Bible never refers to him as “they,” as it sometimes does the Trinity. Based on the way that the Bible refers to him, the way that he refers to himself, and the way that he behaves, there is no reason to think that he is not one person. Thus there is a need to arrive at a formulation that retains the view that Christ is one person even though he has two centers of consciousness. This need is not arbitrary, but it is necessitated by the biblical data.

The proper formulation is to state that God the Son took up a human nature, including a human mind, in such a manner that the human mind is contained by the divine mind, although the two are not in any way mingled or confused. Whereas the divine mind has complete control over the human mind, the human mind does not have free access to the divine mind, but it receives special information and capabilities only as granted by the divine mind…”

The important point of Vincent’s formulation is this, Jesus’ “human nature was not deified by his divine nature.” This doctrine is immune to contradiction. It still affirms the full deity of the Son of God and that His deity never stopped existing in all its fullness.

Thus, I can say, in context of the explained doctrine, “Jesus put aside His deity,” and “as a man, was filled with the Spirit, and did miracles as a man empowered by the Spirit.” Jesus commands us to be men (albeit born-from-above men), filled with the Spirit, and work His same miracles. Jesus says He did His whole ministry by the Spirit, quoting Isaiah. Peter says in Acts 2 that Jesus has given us this empowerment of the Spirit, as a promise of the Father. Paul says this Spirit and miracle power for us, is part of the ancient promise to Abraham. Jesus our forerunner, showed us how to be men born-from-above, filled with faith and the Spirit of power.

“Third, since that time the promise of the Father — the Holy Spirit — has been poured out. The effect of this baptism of the Spirit (Acts 1:5) is to infuse the followers of Jesus with the same power to work miracles (Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49) that Jesus himself possessed (Luke 4:14, 8:46, Acts 10:38). This power could heal the sick and cast out demons (Acts 10:38, Matthew 12:28), and it also produces visions, dreams, prophecies, and speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4, 2:17-18).”[2]

Even if some Charismatics do not explain the incarnation in perfect precision, I couldn’t care less, and it does not matter. Tradition is not as great as they think are in their statements about the humanity of Jesus; therefore, tradition is less than unimportant to me. Seriously, if I cared any less, I’d be dead. And despite some narrowly correct statements about the incarnation by the Reformed, any Charismatic, with their less precise doctrine, but who works miracles in faith and power of the Spirit, 10,000 more times apply a correct doctrine of the incarnation than all the Reformed tradition and books, and churches combined. This is the legacy of faith and shout of value to the Spirit, which the Charismatics have (as imperfect as they are).

The issue is this, the Bible explains the doctrine. Those who criticize the Charismatics either slander them, or make non-relevant personal attacks, while ignoring the Biblical doctrine that is clearly taught by others, like Vincent Cheung. Because the Bible correctly explains the incarnation, and the human ministry of Jesus, and Jesus’ own command for us to do His works (even doing greater works) the Reformed’s attack on the Charismatics (despite some of their sloppy or undetailed explanations) is ultimately an attack on the Bible itself. This is the Reformed’s legacy and damnation.

————–Endnotes————

[1] Why We Won’t Sing Bethel Music in Our Church ep. 10.

[2] Vincent Cheung. Behold I Give you Power. From the ebook, Hero. 2022. pg 89

You are My Sheep, and I Pray for You

In these promises to each other the Father promises that Jesus is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. In summery, this means Jesus’ priesthood is before and different from the Levitical one. It is an eternal and permanent priesthood, that the Levitical one cannot override, which came later. The Levitical priesthood, particularly with the Day of Atonement, we see a teaching illustration to learn what the substitutionary atonement of Jesus will look like, who has the original and eternal priesthood.

In Jesus’ priesthood, we learn in Isaiah 53:12 that He both bore (like the escape goat) the sins but He also “interceded” for them. For example, the priest in Leviticus 16 on the Day of Atonement, only sacrifice and interceded for the children of Israel, and not Moab or someone else. The atonement is for Israel only, not other people. The priest only intercedes for Israel. As the next chapter says (17) the “life” of the animal is in the blood. This is like “life” currency. Jesus gives us the currency of His life in exchange for our currency (or debt) of death. The “intercession” is about telling the bank where you want the money to go. What would happen if you dropped off a briefcase of money without say where you want it? This is why Jesus intercedes, He is telling the Father where the life currency of His atonement goes.

In John 17 Jesus prays, “not for the world” but only for those whom “Father gave Him.” This means His sacrifice was only for those whom the Father gave Him, and not the whole world, as in every single person. If Jesus did not intercede for ‘x’ group, then Jesus did not die for them. We call this definite atonement. Jesus’ atonement was successful for a definite group and not universally for all.

John 10:26-27, Jesus says, “you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep! My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” The “you do not believe” is the conclusion, the “you are not my Sheep,” is the major premise for why we have this conclusion. If you are not already part of Jesus’ sheep, then it concludes you do not believe, and will not believe. Jesus is answering a question with a separate statement about metaphysics and its effects. The ones not believing Jesus, ask if He is the Messiah. To put Jesus’ statement into a syllogism, (1) if you are not my sheep, then you do not believe.” (2) You are not my sheep. (3) Thus, you do not believe what I say.” Also, Jesus in other places says there is only two options, sheep and goats. By saying they are not sheep He is saying they are goats.

If you are not part of Jesus’ sheep then you will never listen and believe what Jesus says. “And I have other sheep which are not from this fold. I must bring these also, and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock—one shepherd. (v.16)” Combining this with the above meaning we learn, if a future person is not already now part of Jesus’ sheep, then they will not believe. Jesus teaches if someone is a sheep now, even if they are not-born-again now, they will believe in the future. His sheep, including those who are “going to believe” (future), believe because they “are” (present) already His sheep. These are those who Jesus interceded for, therefore they will believe at God’s predetermined times.

Jesus says “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they will never perish forever (v27-28).” After saying those who asked if He was the messiah, are not part of His Sheep, He says straight to their face that He gives eternal life to His sheep, which excludes those He is talking to, because He said they are not part of His sheep. There is no teaching of TWO groups that receive Jesus’ “eternal life,” in the scripture. Therefore, the law of excluded middle applies here. If you are not part of this group, then you are a goat, a reprobate.

This also kills the very stupid teaching that says predestination, election, reprobation and God’s absolute sovereignty is an insider doctrine for mature Christians, and not outsiders. Jesus in a mixed audience, in the face of those He is calling reprobates, is teaching these doctrines. Jesus does this again, for example, in John 6, where He says only those the Father draws will come to Him to receive eternal life, and it is for these, that He gives up His life for. If Scripture is going to be your first principle for all knowledge, then get all those answers there, not from men.

The foundational we learn from this are two things about salvation. One is the decrees of God. God in His sovereignty plans and does all the saving of sinful man. Since we have already dealt with the overall doctrine of God’s sovereignty we will focus on this second important point. Jesus’ statements teach the foundation of salvation is about metaphysic, or reality that is. God decides ‘x’ is a sheep and ‘y’ is a goat. The sheep is in the category of a sheep and gets all the category realities that belong to it, and the same with the goat. The world is God’s playdough. He makes up categories from nothing, with all their attributes. He then creates individuals out of nothing, to put into these categories that He wants.

Jesus says for the sheep that He dies for them. He will give them eternal life and they will live with Him forever. This is the reality, the category of being a sheep. He is the only Potter. If God decides ‘x’ is a sheep, then it is so. No one, not even Satan, not even the ‘x,’ can stop it, not because the person will believe against their own will, but because the Potter molds their will to be a sheep, and thus they will believe. Salvation at its foundation metaphysics, not ethics or about man and his choice. Because it is metaphysics first, then therefore, choice and ethics, which are conclusions of epistemology and reality, will follow.

This is great news for all God’s chosen ones who have cried out to God to save them. They will not be disappointed. Despite their internal struggles (even besetting sins) and the attacks of men and devils, even all this cannot stop them from being sheep, cannot separate them from God’s love, and cannot stop them from inheriting eternal life. This becomes a cornerstone for the believers to correct themselves and mature their faith, knowing they are winners. Their faith has overcome the world, because they are children of God.

[this is taken from my Systematic Theology book]

God Wants To Exalt His Elect

 Luke 18:9-14 NLT

“Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.””

 The direct meaning is clear. If you have confidence in your own righteousness and works God will humble you. If you have confidence in God to declare you righteous by His own mercy, then God will exalt you.

The Pharisee knew of his works and had confidence in them so much that he boosted of them before God, and on this foundation was asking God to bless and exalt him.

The tax collector knew his own sinfulness and asked God to have mercy on him. He had confidence in God’s faithful kindness and love to forgive him and on this foundation to bless him.

God wants to be the one to show off His good works. God wants to exalt Himself by showing off how great His works are. He wants to put His mercy and unmerited favor on exhibit. He does not want man to steal this weighty value from Him. Think about how great God’s works of mercy and love are. He wants to show off to you how great they are. Because of God’s nature and covenant, we have unmeasurable confidence to rely on God’s working mercy and love for us.

God wanting to exalt His works of grace and love, exalts us when we seek Him to lavish us with His grace and love. In exalting us in love and grace, God also exalts His good works.

We do not have to beg. God likes it when we ask God for such things. In sovereign freedom He made the promises of grace and love. He wants to do this. He is looking for those who will lean hard into His faithful mercy and love. He is not annoyed when you do. He is the Father sees you from afar and runs to you. He puts the best robe on you, with sandals and a signet ring. He wants to do this. Have confidence to run to Him. He is faithful; He will do all the good things His promised. God exalting you with grace and love is His plan. Do not doubt, only believe.

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

Scripture Uses God’s Transcendence to Shove His Nearness In Your Heart

I was re-reading this essay from Vincent below. It struck a chord in my mind because I had recently read a passage of Scripture in Ephesians 3 that said and concluded the same thing.

First the quote from Vincent,

“Those who claim to provide a God-centered theology are often proud of their theological prowess, but in reality their solution is superficial… For this reason, they seem to think that God-centered religion usually stresses God’s transcendence. God himself does not think so. That is not how he presents himself in Scripture. That is not how he tells his own story. A God-centered theology listens to what God says about himself, and in his narrative, he stresses both his transcendence and his immanence.

He could be aloof, but instead he is closer than your own heartbeat. He could forget about you, but instead he counts your hairs. He could let you fend for yourself, but instead he feeds you and heals you, and works miracles for you. He could be too important to have anything to do with you, but instead he wants you to have faith in him and ask from him. He is so spiritual that he does not even have a body, but he promises he will strengthen yours. He is so transcendent that he created the world, but he is so immanent that he walked and talked with Adam. He is so transcendent that he could destroy Sodom, but he is so immanent that he engaged Abraham to negotiate with him. He is so transcendent that he could wipe out Israel, but he is so immanent that he allowed Moses to stand in his way and stop him. This is how he wants you to know him. This is God-centered theology.

I do not say that we should find the right balance, because it is not a matter of balance. It is not a matter of finding the right point on a scale, but a matter of right or wrong doctrine. Jesus was the most God-centered person who ever walked the earth. He was God himself, but more than anyone in Scripture, he was also the one who told us to pray for our needs and ask God for what we want. The “God-centered” people declares, “God is not Santa!” and they think that this is God-centered theology. It is true that God is not Santa, but this is because he is far better than Santa. Jesus said he is our Father, and it is his pleasure to give good gifts to his children. He does not bring us gifts only once a year, but Jesus told us to ask for our daily bread. They say, “God is not a cash machine!” It is true that God is not a cash machine, but this is because you only withdraw your own money from a cash machine. Paul wrote that God supplies all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. This is God-centered theology, because it listens to what God says about himself, rather than shoving divine transcendence back in his face no matter what he says.”
(Vincent Cheung. Faith Override. Sermonettes 9. 2016. Pg. 9-10)

It is obvious that when the Scripture reveals propositional truths and premises about His Transcendence, Sovereignty and Power it is directly revealing truths about them. There is no higher spiritual activity than theological reflection. We are to reflect on the truths about God’s divine nature, including His transcendence.

However, what I wish to focus on is a mistake people make when thinking about His transcendence, and that is the emphasis.  When the bible reveals or emphasizes His Transcendence (and here is the IMPORTANT PART) to His chosen ones, and to those seeking Him in sincerity, what is a common or if not the most common application or consequence or command given in light of this? Think carefully about it.

As Vincent points out in general, God’s interaction and teaching with His children has a focus on His transcendence and nearness. Likewise, even when God speaks of His transcendence to His chosen ones, the emphasis leads to a conclusion of God’s nearness and love.

Paul in Ephesians chapter 3 does exactly this. After talking about the transcendent God who uses His church to show off how manifold His wisdom is to all the powers at be, Paul’s first conclusion is “come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” Then Paul’s next reaction is “when I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray…,” and Paul prays that they will be made strong by His Spirit and love, and they both understand His and also experience His love greatly.

This is how Paul used the doctrine of God’s transcendence in relation for the saints.

And if that was not enough, Paul concludes a third time with this famous statement, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

So, after theological reflection on God’s predestination and grace (chapter 1) and His secret plan revealing how God uses the Church (now made up of gentiles) to show off the transcendent great wisdom of God (for His glory), the application is not to fall on our faces and beg or say self-deprecating statements to impress God with our humility; rather, we are given a true application of humility which is to boldly approach God’s throne and ask, knowing not only will God give us what we ask for, but super abundantly more than that, even beyond what we can image.

This is like Jesus’ teaching on the sermon on the mount but on steroids. Jesus kept commanding us in that sermon to pray and expect to get what we ask for. A fish for a fish, and bread for a bread. Now we are told we will get the bread we ask for and even more bread, not something different, but more of the good things we asked for. God uses His transcendence to shove His love into our hearts, which causes us to trust in His love more, and cause us to have more boldness in asking for what we want.

It is demonic for the religious fanboys to mostly emphasis God’s transcendence to highlight self-deprecation and farness, when Scripture regularly uses God’s sovereignty and transcendence to highlight His nearness to His children and their bold access to Him. If you see God’s transcendence and then feel hesitation to approach God you are acting like an outsider, as if you have no covenant with God. For God’s contracted insiders and children, His power and sovereignty is a motivation to approach boldly, quickly, constantly and with their heads held high.  God’s transcendence for God’s children is motivation to receive what they ask for and then even much more.

“I was chosen to explain to everyone[c] this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.  This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.  So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen,”
Ephesians 3:9-20

Love Never fails – To Heal by Miraculous Power

Paul says this famous premise in 1 Corinthians 13. This love chapter is sandwich between the chapters on Paul’s teaching on the gifts of the Spirit. I remember Vincent Cheung saying something to the effect of, (as I paraphrase from memory) “if this chapter is read at a wedding, it is only proper to have a healing and miracle service afterwards, because that is the context of Paul’s teaching on love.” I agree.

It is odd that pastors and theologians who scream the loudest for “context” only do it on their few pet doctrines, but ignore it on everything else. The context for this doctrine of love is about God’s people having overwhelming spiritual power. Paul’s instruction is for God’s people, who have great power, is to use this great power in love, toward each other.

This next statement might be a shock for some, but it needs to be said. For those who do not have great heavenly powers of the baptism of the Spirit, Spiritual Gifts, Faith to move mountains, and are practiced in manifesting the Anointing Presence of God, this chapter of love is not applicable to them, or at the very least, it is mostly not applicable to them.

Paul starts the chapter by presupposing the audience does have faith to move mountains, give prophecies, speak in tongues, give to the poor and sacrifice themselves for each other. Those who do not fit the above presuppositions are those Paul is not addressing. He is addressing those who have spiritual power. This does not mean if you do not have spiritual power you are free from obeying God’s command to love your neighbor as yourself. What it does mean, is that for the Christian, love (like with the Sermon on the Mount) is elevated to a higher standard. There is no such thing as Christian love, that is not favoring others as yourself with healing, miracles and prophecies. A love that is without spiritual power is not a Christian love, by definition. Such a definition of love might the standards of non-Christians, but we are not non-Christians.

Jesus showed compassion and love over and over and over in the gospels, and it was always with the power of healing and miracles. Love without miraculous power is an anti-love, it is a love that Jesus does not know or lived. It is a love the apostles did not know or live. It is a love the New Testament church did not know or lived. Non-Christians live this type of love, but we are not non-Christians, unless you really are.

Love is to favor. Loving your neighbor is to favor them, the way you want to be favored. Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit for ministry, had power. When He saw a sick person, He favored them by using power to heal them and remove their suffering. This means, if I was sick and in pain, and I had power, I would favor myself by removing the sickness and pain from me. This is how Jesus favored those around them. This is how the apostle favored those around them. This is how the New Testament favored those around them.

Jesus commanded we pray in His name and get whatever we wish so that God is glorified, and we are filled with joy (John 14-16). Love others by praying for others to receive whatever you want for them, so that by Jesus giving this to them, God makes their joy full. Jesus was filled with the Sprit for ministry, and so commanded His followers to be baptized in the Spirit for power.

The gospels take the time to repeatedly show that Jesus demonstrated love and compassion by healing and using heavenly power to help people. Jesus then commands us to do the same. Then for extra measure Paul used the chapter on “love” in context of using spiritual power in church to help people. This is how the Bible defines Christian love. God’s love is not a powerless love. Before creation and after creation God’s love is not a powerless love. The Godman Jesus Christ, who the saints are imaged after, did not and does not love with a powerless love. The love that Jesus commanded the saints to use was not a command to have a powerless love.

God’s love is using power to favor others with help and salvation. Jesus’ love is using power to favor others with help and salvation. God commands us to love in the same way. We are to love the way God loves, which is to use heavenly power to favor others.

Remember when the Israelites went in to take the Promise Land? Do you remember that “they failed” to completely eradicate all the inhabitants? Did they fail or did God fail? God in the ultimate sense decrees everything; therefore, even their failure to obey His command to completely eradicate all inhabitants, was by God power and decree. However, the “failure” was theirs not God’s. “God’s command,” which is what “He wants for them,” is to completely take the Land and enjoy it. Both the moral accountability, and the failure to bring God’s desire for their good, was their failure and accountability.  God is not the objects He creates, thus, God’s command to man, does not categorically apply to Him, just as blue does not apply to the number 7. They failed to fully enjoy all the goodness of the Promise Land, because they failed to obey God. That failure is their accountability and responsibility, not God’s. That is, their failure is not God’s failure. The public failure of God’s people to fully enjoy what Almighty God promised, was on them.

The same with this phrase “love never fails.” If the saints are truly empowered and full of faith, the way “God commanded” them to be, then indeed “love never fails.” Love will see the need for a revelation, miracles, healing, truth or resurrection and because it has power to support all this favor surging in their hearts, then the blind see, the lame walk, the prisoner is set free, the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. However, if the saints are not in obedience to God’s command to have mountain moving faith and crowned with Spiritual power, so that they fail to love each other in miraculous power, then that accountability and responsibly is on them and not God’s definition of what love is. In such cases, God’s definition of love did not fail; rather, a person failed to obey God commandments, just like with the Israelites.

The Corinthians were prideful, however despite this, at least people were being healed and miracles were performed so that God’s people were favored with help and deliverances. If I were sick and in pain, I would pick a prideful Corinthian who has power to heal me, 1 million times over a so-called saint who was humble but lacked God’s power, and thus, lacked the ablity to love me by removing the pain. Neither, is a true definition of love, but the Corinthians were at least able to relieve suffering saints with the Spirit of God. That is, the Spirit of God did not leave the Corinthians, even though they had some selfish intentions. Paul corrected them and told them to seek even more power. The finger of God, was still moving to help those around them with power, despite some of their faults. However, without this power, then the finger of God does not break in with power, because the power is not there to begin with.

Let God’s people not repeat the mistakes that Israel committed in desert and Promise Land. Let us be filled with faith and the Spirit for heavenly power. Let us love like Jesus. Let us love by the definition revealed in the Scripture. Let us love like God. Let our favor be with power, so that “love never fails.” Let us favor our fellow saints as much or more than ourselves, and with this desire, let us be filled with faith and power. Let us fulfill our desire to help by wielding the power of God as our own, which is our rightful inheritance. Let our actions be the Finger of God that expands His Kingdom with love that never fails.

Calvin Institutes, And God Being the Cause of All Things

Calvin Institutes[1]

Chapter 18, Book 1.

The sum of the whole is this,

since I say the will of God is the cause of all things,

all the counsels and actions of men must be held to be governed by his providence. Therefore, just as God exerts his power in the elect, who are guided by the Holy Spirit, He also exerts force in the reprobate to do him service.

When I say that God bends all the reprobate, and even Satan himself, at his will, some object that on The sum of the whole is this,—since the will of God is said to be the cause of all things, all the counsels and actions of men must be held to be governed by his providence. Therefore, as God exerts his power in the elect, who are guided by the Holy Spirit, He also exerts force in the reprobate to do him service.

..only happens by the permission, not by the will of God…

[Those who are against the will of God that causes all things, counter this by saying] this is done only by the permission of God, and not by the will of God. However, God himself, openly declares that he does this, and thus, rebukes their evasion of this doctrine.

What we formerly quoted from the Psalms, to the effect that he does whatever pleases him, certainly extends to all the actions of men.

David, not murmuring against God, but acknowledging him to be a just judge, confesses that the curses of Shimei are uttered by his orders. “The Lord,” says he, “has bidden him curse.” Often in sacred history whatever happens is said to proceed from the Lord, as the revolt of the ten tribes, the death of Eli’s sons, and very many others of a similar description. Those who have a tolerable acquaintance with the Scriptures see that, with a view to brevity, I am only producing a few out of many passages, from which it is perfectly clear that it is the merest trifling to substitute a bare permission for the providence of God [i.e. God’s will causes all things], as if he sat in a watch-tower waiting for fortuitous events, his Judgments meanwhile depending on the will of man.

2. With regard to secret movements, what Solomon says of the heart of a king, that it is turned hither and thither, as God sees meet, certainly applies to the whole human race, and has the same force as if he had said, that whatever we conceive in our minds is directed to its end by the secret inspiration of God. And certainly, did he not work internally in the minds of men, it could not have been properly said, that he takes away the lip from the true, and prudence from the aged—takes away the heart from the princes of the earth,

Many passages which declare, that God blinds the minds of men, and smites them with giddiness, intoxicates them with a spirit of stupor, renders them infatuated, and hardens their hearts. Even these expressions many would confine to permissions as if, by deserting the reprobate, he allowed them to be blinded by Satan. But since the Holy Spirit distinctly says, that the blindness and infatuation are inflicted by the just Judgment of God, the solution is altogether inadmissible. He is said to have hardened the heart of Pharaoh, to have hardened it yet more, and confirmed it.

[This is a good catch 22 Calvin brings up.]

Some evade these forms of expression by a silly objection, because Pharaoh is elsewhere said to have hardened his own heart, thus making his will the cause of hardening it; as if the two things did not perfectly agree with each other, though in different senses—namely that, man, though acted upon by God, at the same time also acts. But I retort the objection on those who make it. If to harden means only bare permission, the contumacy will not properly belong to Pharaoh. Now, could anything be more feeble and banal than to interpret as if Pharaoh had only allowed himself to be hardened? We may add, that Scripture cuts off all handle for such cavils: “I,” saith the Lord, “will harden his heart,” (Exod. 4:21).

I admit, indeed, that God often acts in the reprobate by interposing the agency of Satan; but in such a manner, that Satan himself performs his part, just as he is impelled, and succeeds only in so far as he is permitted.

3. I have said what is plainly and unambiguously taught in Scripture, those who are quick to defame what is taught by scripture, had better beware what their actions mean. If they want human praise for being humble, because they claim mysteries in scripture, then what greater anti-humility can there be, other than to utter one word in opposition to the authority of God—to say, for instance, “I think otherwise.”

—-

Chapter 23, Book 3

Here they repeat the distinction between will and permission, the object being to prove that the wicked perish only by the permission, but not by the will of God. But why do we say that he permits, but just because he wills? Nor, indeed, is there any probability in the thing itself—viz. that man brought death upon himself merely by the permission, and not by the ordination of God; as if God had not determined what he wished the condition of the chief of his creatures to be…  The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should…however, it was just, because he saw that his own glory would thereby be displayed. When you hear the glory of God mentioned, understand that his justice is included.

——-

Chapter 16, Book 1.

[ Not sure if I agree with Calvin that this is what Augustine taught, however, Calvin says it, to say he agrees with it. And I agree with Calvin this doctrine is correct. If God’s will is not the active/direct/primary, then it cannot be said to be a true cause of anything. ]

When [Augustine] uses the term permission [He means] that the will of God is the supreme and primary cause of all things, because nothing happens without his order or permission. He certainly does not figure God sitting idly in a watch-tower, when he chooses to permit anything. The will which he represents—if I may so express it—is an active will; for if God’s will is not active, then God’s will could not be regarded as a cause.

Chapter 18, Book 1.

[God’s decree and command is not the same thing, and thus, God is not unjust even though He is the author of sin]

4. Some say, if God causes the counsels and affections of the wicked, he is the author of all their sins; and, therefore, men, in doing what God has decreed, are unjustly condemned, because they are obeying his will. Here ‘will’ is improperly confounded with precept, though it is obvious, from innumerable examples, that there is the greatest difference between them … Thus we must hold, that while by means of the wicked God performs what he had secretly decreed, they are not excusable as if they were obeying his precept.

[Calvin is in context of affirming God causes all things. He is answering the objection, if God cause all things and God’s cause is not passive but active, then God is the author of sin, “by decreeing people to sin, and then punishing them for “obeying” His will.” God decrees/causes the wicked to sin. He answered is by saying God is not author of sin, (aka, “does evil by punishing people for obeying His will”) because of the category fallacy of decree vs precept. Calvin denies the author of sin, because of a category fallacy. Calvin does answer the objection by removing God as the ultimate/real cause from the definition. Thus, Calvin does not have an issue with God being the author of sin by decreeing and causing the wicked to sin, his issue is saying God is unjust by committing a category error. If you get rid of the category error, you get rid of the objection for calling God the author of sin (i.e. unjust), in the first place. Calvin is attacking the author is sin objection, not by removing God as ultimate cause from the objection, but removing the category error. Calvin’s argument reminds me of how Vincent Cheung might.

The author of sin is in the category of ultimate cause only real cause, because it refers in context here to God’s decree. If God’s decree does not mean ultimate/real cause, then you are mistaken, and if Calvin defines God’s decree as not ultimate cause then he is mistaken. It is possible the Calvin contradicted or changed the author of sin to not relate to ultimate cause in other places, but here he does. It is clear that saying “authorship in Calvin’s thought refers to secondary agency,” is false; rather, Authorship here refers to God’s decree. Again, God’s decree is about the only real cause, or that is ultimate cause. God’s decree does not refer to God being secondary to Himself in ontology; God’s decree does not refer to secondary objects or dual causes.]


ENDNOTE

[1] Calvin’s Institutes. CCEL eBook edition. publish domain. (www.ccel.org)

I have down a modern copy edit (light paraphrasing on some parts) on the English, on this material. See original for comparison.