IF CALVIN WAS CORRECT THEN WHAT MATTERS?

Calvin said that it is only God that saves and there is nothing mortal man can do for salvation. On the surface that seems correct. It is true that only God saves. The question Calvin raises in my mind is “how does God save?”. If Calvin was right then Jesus was wrong, or at least that is how it appears to me.

 

(Mat 28:18-20 NIV)  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

If Calvin was right then no one can make disciples, baptizing has no worth, and neither does teaching. If it is only God that chooses then nothing matters. One would not be condemned for sin, because sin is what man does and nothing man does matters.

 

If only Calvin could have been born before Jesus so that Jesus would have known that sin didn’t matter! If he understood Calvinism he would have known that he didn’t have to be sacrificed for the sin of the world, because sin doesn’t really condemn a man: only God saves and He saves those that He wants to save. Because all men sin and He saves some of them then sin really has nothing to do with salvation. Would He save some because they try not to sin? That would mean that man would have something to do with his own salvation. Well, according to Calvin that is not possible.

 

If Calvin was correct then of what benefit to anyone would teaching his doctrine be? Would it be of any benefit to anyone to teach about Jesus or anything for that matter?

 

If a man is to be condemned and there is nothing he, or she can do about it then it would only be cruel to teach about God to them. Why rub salt in the wound?

 

We call ourselves Christians because we say we follow him. He said that we should make disciples. If you do not believe it is possible to make disciples then in effect you are saying Jesus was wrong. You do right to call yourself “Calvinist” because you do not believe Christ and you prove yourself wrong by teaching Calvinism because if Calvin were correct it would not matter what you taught, or even if you taught. It would even be better not to teach.

 

Do you teach from pride of what you think you know, or do you teach because of your love for your fellow man? What love could there possibly be to teach the unsaved that there really is no hope for them.

 

I know that you are thinking that I should not be saying these things about you, but if you and Calvin are right it doesn’t really matter: does it? And if Jesus is right nothing else matters. Well, I might have hurt your pride, but then why do you have any pride?

 

Who do you really follow Calvin, or Jesus? What do you teach “Calvinism or “Christianity”? If Calvin says one can not make disciples and Jesus commanded us do so then the two disciplines are not compatible.

 

Before you start to throw stones at me, look in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘Am I a “Calvinist or a “Christian”? If your answer is “Calvinist” then by all means start throwing. Let’s talk about this.

47 Responses to IF CALVIN WAS CORRECT THEN WHAT MATTERS?

  1. Francisco says:

    The question is, “are you saved”?

    “Pure And Undefiled Religion”

    “Pure religion and undefiled before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless(those children who know not The Father[Creator]) and widows(those who have not “experienced The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead) in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world.” (James 1:27)

    Simply, all other religion is impure and defiled!

    Faith will not create a system of religion…….

    Hope is there would be those who take heed unto The Call of The Only True GOD to “Come Out of her, MY people”!

    For they will “Come Out” of this wicked world(babylon) and it’s systems of religion, into “the glorious Liberty of The Children of The Only True GOD”.

    They will no longer be of those who are destroying the earth(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures)” and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Hope, Faith, Mercy, Grace, Miracles, etc.).

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this world and it’s systems of religion, for “the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one” (1John5:19) indeed and Truth…….

    Truth is never ending…….
    thedestructionoftheearth.wordpress.com

  2. astudent says:

    Francisco,

    Thanks for commenting. It is usually difficult to comment on a post that one disagrees with. I suppose that you disagree, but it is not clear to me just how. I do not have much disagreement with what you said, though I see some of your comments from a slightly different angle.

    Your question “are you saved” leads directly to the next question, which is “how are you saved” and the answer to that question seems to me to be the main difference between Calvinism and Christianity.

    You talk of a “Pure and Undefiled Religion” as if were possible, but all men are defiled. The things you cite are no doubt good, but even if one could practice them with perfection it would not atone for previous sin: only Christ can do that for someone.

    No one can work their way into heaven. If anyone will not accept God’s way of salvation they will not be saved and God’s way is free to all and requires no more than stating the truth and asking to be saved, then permitting someone else to baptize them. The good that you cited as pure and undefiled religion are only outward signs of an inner Spirit.

    I would agree that faith will not create a system of religion, but there are many that have faith in false religions. True faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father is the only pure religion.

    Have no fear of man destroying the earth. God has said that He will do that.

    You are correct when you say that the whole world is under the control of the evil one, but read the verse before 19: “the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him”. (1 John 5:18 NIV)

    Just as a kind of sidebar, you said there are those who are perverting miracles and I thought to myself “miracles can’t be perverted”, but then I thought “life itself is a miracle” and I knew you were right. I see science manipulating DNA and also changing the natural birth process in any way God will let them and I understand at least some miracle perversions. Thanks for the thought.

  3. Francisco says:

    That was one of the most thoughtful and considerate responses i have received posting on the internet.

    And your response was gratefully appreciated although we “see” things differently.

    The question yet remains, “are you saved”?

    As for not agreeing? Seems your posting was concerning “religion” of the “calvin” variety and so it is that i posted as i did to solidify the fact that not only “calvinism”, but all other systems of religion are “impure and defiled”…….

    i am thankful that you could “see” there are “miracles” that are falsely so-called…….

    Rev 13:14 “And the dragon deceived them that dwelt on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”

    Rev 16:14 “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

    Rev 19:20 “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, which he used to deceive them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire and brimstone”.

    Yet mere words written on paper can lead to false assumptions(logic) and such assumptions author”ize” all systems of religion. Theo’ry’logy but carries on the legacy of the pharisee’s.

    Experience and revelation are The Teacher, and thankfully i have experienced The Miraculous Power that raised The Messiah from among the dead and The Miraculous Powers of deliverance, hearing The Voice of The Only True GOD, and above all else The Power that is greater than, and overcomes, the “I” in me…….

    Not to say that the “I” is dead yet, but thankfully dying, and soon, very soon, to be no more.

    As for “religion”?

    Thankfully you agreed that “Faith will not create a system of religion”…….

    For “religion is anti-Messiah” indeed and Truth…….

    You wrote: “Have no fear of man destroying the earth. God has said that He will do that.”

    No fear, only sadness, for The Only True GOD testified that HE “would destroy those who would destroy the earth(HIS Creation)”(Rev11:18c)……. And experience most certainly reveals that mankind’s “imag”ination is destroying and perverting Creation…….

    Yet Pure and undefiled religion is possible!

    Is not all that is Good possible for those who believe?

    And “Pure and Undefiled religion” is simple…….

    Yet such simplicity will only be experienced by those who “have been “delivered from the bondage of corruption into The glorious Liberty of The Children of The Only True GOD”.

    And finally, yes, The Only True GOD, HE will protect HIS Children, those who do not deny and defy HIM, however, that does not allow HIS Children to do as they please, for HIS Children but seek to please HIM…….

    And one thing that pleases HIM is when HIS Children take heed unto HIS admonitions, one of which is;

    “Love Not The World”

    ”For the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one”(I John 5:19)

    “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.” (I John 2:15-17)

    “If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:19-20)

    “Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

    “The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

    The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

    John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James 4:4)

    The “earth and it’s life forms” are The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who “has blinded the minds of those who believe not The Messiah”! All the nations of this world are under the dominion of, and serve, the evil one for he provides the fuel that feeds mankind’s “imag”ination, and mankind’s “imagination is destroying and perverting Creation(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures, Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Faith, Simplicity, .etc.) ;-(

    Once again, the “earth and it’s life forms” are The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The current “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”.

    Those who “love this world” all serve “the god of this world”, and play their part in the processes that seek to destroy The Creation of The Only True GOD. “And The Only True GOD will destroy them who destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:18c)

    Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease ,,,etc,,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life”.

    The Truth Is Alive in those who have been born of The Spirit for “they no longer love this wicked, evil world and it’s things, nor do they love their own lives in this world”.

    They but seek and desire The Will of GOD, their Father and Creator, as they await their final transformation. “Corruptible to Incorruptible” ndeed and Truth!

    Now “the ground was cursed for Adam’s sake” because he “hearkened unto the woman”.

    Adam listened to a woman rather than obeying The Only True GOD. Yet because of Faithful Noah, The Only True GOD “no longer would curse the ground for man’s sake” because Noah obeyed The Only True GOD! (Genesis 8:21-22)

    And the Faithful today are exhorted to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”

    Be not of those who deny and defy “The One GOD, Father of All”. Be not of those who are destroying and perverting the earth(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Hope, Mercy, Faith, .etc.)!

    “Set your affections on things above”. Desire heavenly, eternal things. Quit serving ‘time’ in the prison that is this world and take heed unto The Call of “The Only True GOD” to ”Come Out of her, MY people!”

    “Come out” from among those who are destroying and perverting Creation and be of those who follow The Messiah on “The Way to The Truth of The Life”.

    “Come out” of the worldly systems, which are the product of mankind’s “imag”ination, especially the systems of religion.

    “Pure religion and undefiled before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless(those who know not their Father[Creator]) and widows(those who have not experienced The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead”) in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world.” (James 1:27)

    Simply, all other religions are impure, defiled and of this wicked, evil world!

    Faith will not create a system of religion!

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it’s systems of religion, for “the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one” indeed and Truth…….

    Truth is never ending…….

  4. astudent says:

    Francisco,

    To answer your question, yes I am saved. I believe God sent His only begotten Son to pay the penalty for my sin, so yes, by Scripture I am saved. (John 3:14, 5:24&25, 6:33-58, and 11:25&26)

    We do see things differently and though I do agree with you that all religion is impure and defiled I still believe it is necessary.
    re•lig•ion (r¹-l¹j“…n) n. Abbr. rel., relig. 1.a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship. 2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order. 3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader. 4. A cause, a principle, or an activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion. (The American Heritage Dictionary)

    As a Christian I am told not to give up meeting with other Christians. I do not think there would be a Church to meet in without religion. There would be no meetings to celebrate communion or to help each other learn how to preach the Gospel. Though man has defiled the Church, as we defile everything we touch, I still believe we should attend and support the Church.

    Thanks for the verses about miracles. I do not look for miracles in this life. I believe that God already knows my circumstances and what I need. So if I get sick or have any other problem I, as all men do, ask God to heal me or make my life here better, but I always end my prayer with “What ever Your will be done”, because God knows what is best for me and even if it is not the best thing for me perhaps it will help someone else. Though I will probably receive a stoning from my brothers, it seems to me that most miracles come from the dragon and because of unbelief.

    I do not think false assumptions are a result of logic, but from false logic. I have applied logic to the Word of God and found it perfectly logical.

    Francisco, you make me think and I like that. When I said faith would not create a system of religion I was thinking of a pure system. Actually it seems that faith in something has created all religions. Faith in Jesus has created the system of religion that those who call themselves Christians use. Because men do not understand Scripture perfectly it has led to many errors, but still with all of its flaws it is necessary.

    I agree with everything that you say about religion, if I view it as you do. But I also have a view of religion and it is not altogether different from yours.

    When God says ‘come out of the world’ I do not think He is saying come out of religion as well. To me it seems somewhat selfish to walk away from the Church, which is, as I see it a system of religion. We need communion and we should be trying to convince others that there is no way to everlasting life than through Jesus Christ and without a Church I see no way. If we walk away from Church because it is somewhat defiled how will others find out about God? Shouldn’t we consider them even more than ourselves? If we walk away from Church because men have defiled it then haven’t we given up and just left it to Satan?

    Perhaps you are just applying a different definition to the word “religion” than I am. I have had what seemed like different views of things in the past and after the dust cleared it was only a different definition to words and we could agree completely when the same definition was applied to each view.

  5. Francisco says:

    Once again, simply, religion is Anti-Messiah…….

    And the pagan catholic and christian religious systems are most certainly not of The Truth, they are of this world…….

    Faith rejoices against logic…….

    Faith will not create a system of religion, logic will…….

    Sadly, secular and religious “educational” processes have had their way with you ;-(

    Hope is that one day you would experience The Miracle that is receiving “the love of The Truth”……. Only then will you “see” The Light that is The Messiah…….

    Thankfully Truth is never ending…….

  6. charles says:

    You said: If Calvin was right then Jesus was wrong, or at least that is how it appears to me.

    Calvin considered Jesus to be his Master, so perhaps, if you wish to avoid the sin of slander and instead begin to act in Christian charity, you should look again and more carefully this time.

    This tired argument merely shows you to be the spiritual heir to those slanderers who spoke against the gospel in the 1st century: “if Paul teaches that we are saved by grace, and not by works, then he must also be teaching that we can just live however we want and sin more, so that grace may abound more…or at least that is how it appears to me.”

    Your logic is the same as their logic: you misrepresent your opponent, not based on what they taught and what their conclusions were, but what you imagine and assume. And your argument, just like their argument, is directed more at God than any human, whether Paul or Calvin.

    Are we saved by faith or works? Paul was inspired to teach that we are saved by faith, but that such saving faith will necessarily produce fruit. Rather than continue living in sin, those who live by faith will try to put aside sin and obey God, not because they need to do so to be justified but out if gratitude for the justification and adoption they have already received.

    Similarly, while you argue that Christians will only obey the Great Commission if they believe that God needs them and can’t accomplish His purposes without their help, Calvinists expect that gratitude for salvation and softened hearts which are eager to please their Father is all the foundation that is required for true service to the gospel. That God will “accomplish all His good pleasure” merely gives His children confidence that they can go out and make disciples – that the gospel will certainly reach all nations – with no fear of being thwarted by human will.

    You magnify the human being who goes and makes disciples. On the other hand, scripture teaches that none of them – whether teachers, preachers or missionaries – is anything, but that only God gives the increase in His church (which would be equivalent to saying that only God “saves.”)

    1Cor3:5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

    Calvin believed what Paul taught…and started a missionary academy to that end in addition to his work as a preacher and writer of bible commentaries. Many of the great missionaries of history, such as William Carey (and the particular Baptist missionary society who supported him), David Brainerd, Adoniram Judson and George Whitefield, were motivated from a Calvinistic interpretation of scripture. They, like Paul, were happy to be fellow servants of one Master…and to obey simply because they were invited, not because they were necessary.

    Speaking of the fatherless, here is what that faithful orphanage founder George Mueller wrote of himself:

    In the course of time I came to this country, and it pleased God then to show to me the doctrines of grace (i.e. “Calvinism”) in a way in which I had not seen them before. At first I hated them, “If this were true I could do nothing at all in the conversion of sinners, as all would depend upon God and the working of His Spirit.” But when it pleased God to reveal these truths to me, and my heart was brought to such a state that I could say, “I am not only content simply to be a hammer, an axe, or a saw, in God’s hands; but I shall count it an honor to be taken up and used by Him in any way; and if sinners are converted through my instrumentality, from my inmost soul I will give Him all the glory; the Lord gave me to see fruit; the Lord gave me to see fruit in abundance; sinners were converted by scores; and ever since God has used me in one way or other in His service.”

    Another preacher who was instrumental in the conversion of many was C.H. Spurgeon, who said:

    “I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross…”

    Asking whether one teaches “Calvinism” or “Christianity” is a false dichotomy. But rather than rant as you do that human will must be sovereign because human philosophy demands it, Calvinists are grateful that God has raised us from the dead and brought us to Himself. We would affirm that “salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9) and that “it is because of Him that we are in Christ Jesus” (1Cor1:30) and not that we chose God because we were smarter or more spiritual than others.

    “There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation — the kingship of God over all the works of his own hands — the throne of God, and his right to sit upon that throne.

    On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on his throne. They will allow him to be in his workshop to fashion worlds and to make stars. They will allow him to be in his almonry to dispense his alms and bestow his bounties. They will allow him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends his throne, his creatures then gnash their teeth; and when we proclaim an enthroned God, and his right to do as he wills with his own, to dispose of his creatures as he thinks well, without consulting them in the matter, then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on his throne is not the God they love. They love him anywhere better than they do when he sits with his scepter in his hand and his crown upon his head. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon his throne whom we trust.” – C. H. Spurgeon from “Divine Sovereignty”

    You said: “If a man is to be condemned and there is nothing he, or she can do about it then it would only be cruel to teach about God to them. Why rub salt in the wound?”

    I believe that God knows the future for certain. Let’s say God knows that one of your neighbors is certain to die apart from Christ (i.e. he will be condemned). Does that mean that if you witness to that neighbor and offer him the gospel, you are being cruel? Seriously? (Or do you deny that God knows for certain?)

    Calvinists affirm that we are to offer the gospel freely to every single person. We also agree with Acts13:48 that all who are appointed to eternal life will certainly believe. The fact that God knows who will reject Him and who will accept Him is not our responsibility. The fact that God has the right to show mercy to some and harden others is not our problem. We merely know that God’s word will not return to Him empty, but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it (Isa55:11) – even while you contend that human will can render His word a failure.

    The psalmist wrote: “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psa139:16)

    Rather than become a fatalist, the psalmist properly rested in the sovereignty of God. The fact that you seem uncomfortable with the Calvinist understanding of creaturely freedom merely suggests that your ultimate foundation is based on human philosophy rather than scripture. But explaining that will take another chapter, if not a book, so I’ll let you digest this before going any farther.

  7. francisco says:

    Sadly, calvin but carried on the legacy of the pharisee’s…….

    And all the pagan catholic and christian systems of theo’ry’logical religion have done the same, and will continue to do so until the end of time…….

    Of course that is to be expected for it was promised that few would enter into The NEW Covenant…….

    “Let There Be Light” and there was Light…….

    LIGHT begot Light…….

    The Messiah, was “The Light” of the old and Is “The Light” The New Covenant…….

    “The Light which enlightens every man who is born into the
    world”…….

    As for The NEW Covenant, and The New Covenant “Jew”?
    ——-
    Jer 31:31-37 “Behold, the days come, says YHWH, that I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: NOT ACCORDING TO THE COVENANT THAT I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS IN THE TIME THAT I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO BRING THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT FOR THEY BROKE THAT COVENANT, although I was an husband unto them, says YHWH: (Thankfully no longer natural “fathers” but YHWH, “Our Father” in “the NEWness of The Spirit not the letter”)

    But this shall be the NEW covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says YHWH, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts(not in stone, but in their heart and consciousness); and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be MY people. (“Come Out of her, MY people”! Come out of this world and it’s systems of religion)

    And every man shall no longer teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know YHWH”, for they shall all know ME, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says YHWH: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    Thus says YHWH, which gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divides the sea when the waves thereof roar; YHWH of hosts is HIS name:

    If those ordinances depart from before ME, says YHWH, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before ME for ever.

    Thus says YHWH; If Heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says YHWH.”
    ——-

    The NEW Covenant established The Truth that, “he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, whose circumcision is that of the flesh, he is a Jew who is one inwardly, whose circumcision is of the heart” as he was immersed in, of, by and through The Holy, Set Apart Spirit that is of The Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL, and “grafted into a Good olive tree”…….

    And The NEW Spiritual Israel?

    “A Holy nation”…….

    “A nation of kings and priests” indeed and Truth, and the Spiritual Jews are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” whose “citizenship (Life) is in Heaven”.

    They are not of this wicked, evil world and it’s systems of religion because they have taken heed unto The Call of The Only True G-D, Father (Creator) of ALL to “Come out of her, MY people”…….

    And the NEW Spiritual Jew is exhorted to “set their affections on things above, Heavenly things” and not be of those “whose god is their bellies, and whose glory is in their shame, because they mind earthly things”…….

    Sadly, there are multitudes who profess a belief in The Messiah with their mouth only for they are “friends of this world”, “love this world and it’s things” and “love their own life in and of the world” …….

    All such will hear those woe filled words, “Depart from Me all you workers of iniquity”…….

    Thankfully The Brethren of The Messiah have their citizenship(Life) in Heaven” for they are “A Holy nation” of “kings and priests”, all of whom are thankful that, that which was “decaying and waxing old” DID “vanish away” with the destruction of the natural, earthly kingdom centered in jerusalem.

    “THY Kingdom” DID “Come”, and IS, indeed and Truth…….

    No longer old, natural, earthly and temporal, The NEW is Spiritual, Heavenly and Eternal…….

    And so it is that yesterday, today, and if there be a tomorrow, that the chosen ones, the elect, the ‘Jew’ of The New Covenant seeks and desires that which is Spiritual, Heavenly and Eternal…….

    All Thanks, Praise and Glory Be Unto The Only True G-D, Father (Creator) of ALL…….

  8. int3grity says:

    No offense, but you completely misrepresented what Calvin taught and what calvinists believe. Historical Calvinism is compatibilistic. The conclusions about soteriology which Calvin and the reformers came to was arrived at through exegesis and harmonization of the Bible as a whole rather than the selective citing and out of context superficial humanistic interpretation that is so prevelant in evanjellybeanism today. I agree with Calvin’s soteriology and I am a Christian who believes the Gospel, just the same as Calvin did.

    Please do a study (since you are a student) on compatibilism and look at the numerous Biblical texts which teach it.

  9. astudent says:

    Charles,

    In order for my statement to be slander it would have to be false. It is my opinion and that is true so it is not slander.

    I see that you only hold others to your standards. Didn’t you slander me? Don’t let it bother you, if you would be inclined to do so, because many have said far worse about me.

    How would it change the fact the God saves by grace if all I did was admit that I am a sinner in need of a Savior and claimed Him? Didn’t God make everything that was made? Wouldn’t that include His plan of salvation? How would that exalt me in any way? Just the opposite! I claim to be a sinner not worthy of salvation!

    You say that I “misrepresent my opponent”, but I don’t have an opponent. At least it is not my intention to be an opponent. Calvin is dead and gone, so he can not be my opponent. Though I have to say that I would not include him in the same class as Paul. Calvin is not mentioned in the Bible unless he is one identified in Gal 1:6&7.

    My argument is not with God, but clearly against the exegesis of Calvin and those who let Calvin do their thinking for them.

    Charles, you didn’t understand much of what I said at all. I didn’t say God needed man to do anything. It was God’s plan of salvation that God completed (John 19:30). It is man that needs; not God. Man needs to know about God’s work and it is man’s responsibility to explain it (Mat 28:19 NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim 2:4) so if it only God that determines who will be saved then no one will go to hell. There has to be something else that factors into what saves a man. That factor is clearly faith in Jesus and everyone is free to believe or not to. If God wants all men to be saved and it was only up to him then He would make all men believe: but He does not. Calvin says nothing man can do will affect his salvation: Calvin was wrong.

    Calvin preached basically that man is totally worthless. When I look at myself I see a sinner first, but then God made me in His likeness and God has allowed me to live in His house, eat His food, drink His water, breath His air and then He made and worked a plan of salvation for me that cost the life of His only begotten Son! What do you think? Am I worthless?

    You ask if we are saved by faith or works and of course we are saved by faith, but one can carry the definition of work to extremes. To think is work by the definition. To praise God is a work. To read this comment is work. In other words anything you do is work of some kind. To ask God for salvation is work and to believe either God or Calvin is work.

    You cite 1 Cor 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (NIV) But you only used the last part of it. What if Paul had not planted and Apollos had not watered? Would there be anything for God to make grow?

    Charles, you cite many preachers and you believe what they say, but study the Bible not what some man says about it. Do not let someone else do your thinking.

    I would agree that God knows the future, but I would not agree that He condemns some and not others. It is man that condemns himself by not believing in the Christ. God knows who will believe, so to God that person is predestined, but that does not mean that God made someone believe and someone else not. That would be inconsistent with the attributes of God. It would be unjust and God is not unjust.

    How can you say that Calvinist affirm they offer the Gospel to every singe person? The Gospel or “Good News” is that anyone who will believe in the son of God will be saved. It is a matter of choice of the individual. God made and carried out the plan and His part was finished (John 19:30) now it is up to the person to accept it or not to. Calvin did not teach that. Calvin taught another Gospel, which is no Gospel (Gal 1:6&7).

    (Mat 11:12 NIV) From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. I am a forceful man and I have grasp hold of the kingdom of heaven and I am not letting go. It is the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:12 so if Calvin was right then Jesus was wrong! Calvin says that man can not lay hold of heaven, but Jesus says they not only can, but they do!

    Charles, listen to yourself. You accuse me of basing my foundation on human philosophy, but I have only cited the Bible, yet you cite Calvin and many men. Do your own thinking and do not let either me or Calvin do it for you. A truly wise man would do as Paul, who did not consult any man, but went off by himself for three years so as not to be influenced by any man. Lay both me and Calvin aside and then ask the question “Does man have anything to do with his own salvation” then consult only the Word of God. I am sure you will arrive at the same conclusion that I have. You have the same teacher as I have, the Holy Spirit, to teach you all things (John 14:26) why rely on a man?

  10. astudent says:

    Francisco,

    What you say is correct to a point. I have to ask, does the world include religion?
    Isn’t the church as we know it only a gathering of those who believe?

    Every church or religion has a system of worship and because every man is a sinner every system has been corrupted. That I can agree with, but if we “come out of religion” how will the unsaved be reached? How would the unsaved be reached without the church?

    If we come out of religion will we be pure, or will we just be a sinner out of the Church?

    How did you find out about Jesus? Was it because of some system of religion? That would be my guess. Can you obey the second greatest commandment and not tell and help others tell about Jesus? Does God mean come out now and leave others behind? Would you have others leave you uninformed?

    When God says “come out of her” it seems to me that he means come out of sin. If He means the word then He is saying commit suicide, because that is the only way a man can come out of the world when he wants to; not waiting on God.

  11. astudent says:

    int3grity,

    What did I misrepresent that Calvin taught? He taught that man can do nothing for his own salvation and the Bible teachers otherwise.

    When someone says man has nothing to do with his own salvation doesn’t it raise the question in your mind of then why is all of this sin allowed? If God already knows who will be saved and He does, but then He makes some accept Him and does not allow others then why would He subject the innocent to the sin of this earth?

    Why did Jesus have to die for our sin if God was just going to choose? What was the point?

    Calvin mixed truth with fantasy, but Calvin didn’t understand some of the very basics. He would not have reached his conclusion that someone who was dead could not accept a Savior if he understood death.

    I have found Calvinists as a rule very intelligent people, but they confuse themselves by not examining the basics. I also have found them to be very proud people and proud people can not bear to admit to error.

    I tried three dictionaries and none had “compatibilistic” or “compatibilism”. You must be using the same dictionary that defines evenjellybeanism. I kind of like that term. Would you be so kind as to tell me what dictionary that would be so that I know what “compatibilism” is?

    Seriously though, Calvinism is not compatible with the New Testament. I have already studied it.

  12. Francisco says:

    If you do not believe that The NEW Covenant !IS! then it is fruitless to continue our “commun”ication…….

    As for The NEW Covenant, and The New Covenant “Jew”?
    ——-
    Jer 31:31-37 “Behold, the days come, says YHWH, that I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: NOT ACCORDING TO THE COVENANT THAT I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS IN THE TIME THAT I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO BRING THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT FOR THEY BROKE THAT COVENANT, although I was an husband unto them, says YHWH: (Thankfully no longer natural “fathers” but YHWH, “Our Father” in “the NEWness of The Spirit not the letter”)

    But this shall be the NEW covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says YHWH, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts(not in stone, but in their heart and consciousness); and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be MY people. (”Come Out of her, MY people”! Come out of this world and it’s systems of religion)

    And every man shall no longer teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know YHWH”, for they shall all know ME, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says YHWH: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    Thus says YHWH, which gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divides the sea when the waves thereof roar; YHWH of hosts is HIS name:

    If those ordinances depart from before ME, says YHWH, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before ME for ever.

    Thus says YHWH; If Heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says YHWH.”
    ——-

    The NEW Covenant established The Truth that, “he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, whose circumcision is that of the flesh, he is a Jew who is one inwardly, whose circumcision is of the heart” as he was immersed in, of, by and through The Holy, Set Apart Spirit that is of The Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL, and “grafted into a Good olive tree”…….

    And The NEW Spiritual Israel?

    “A Holy nation”…….

    “A nation of kings and priests” indeed and Truth, and the Spiritual Jews are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” whose “citizenship (Life) is in Heaven”.

    They are not of this wicked, evil world and it’s systems of religion because they have taken heed unto The Call of The Only True G-D, Father (Creator) of ALL to “Come out of her, MY people”…….

    And the NEW Spiritual Jew is exhorted to “set their affections on things above, Heavenly things” and not be of those “whose god is their bellies, and whose glory is in their shame, because they mind earthly things”…….

    Sadly, there are multitudes who profess a belief in The Messiah with their mouth only for they are “friends of this world”, “love this world and it’s things” and “love their own life in and of the world” …….

    All such will hear those woe filled words, “Depart from Me all you workers of iniquity”…….

    Thankfully The Brethren of The Messiah have their citizenship(Life) in Heaven” for they are “A Holy nation” of “kings and priests”, all of whom are thankful that, that which was “decaying and waxing old” DID “vanish away” with the destruction of the natural, earthly kingdom centered in jerusalem.

    “THY Kingdom” DID “Come”, and IS, indeed and Truth…….

    No longer old, natural, earthly and temporal, The NEW is Spiritual, Heavenly and Eternal…….

    And so it is that yesterday, today, and if there be a tomorrow, that the chosen ones, the elect, the ‘Jew’ of The New Covenant seeks and desires that which is Spiritual, Heavenly and Eternal…….

    All Thanks, Praise and Glory Be Unto The Only True G-D, Father (Creator) of ALL…….

  13. astudent says:

    Francisco,

    What have I said that would lead you to think that I do not believe that the New Covenant is ?

    I believe everything that you said. It seems that the only difference that we have is I do not include the church with the world. I believe that all of God’s children have yet to be born. One must be born of the Spirit in order to be a New Covenant Jew. There are still those who will answer the call of God, but have yet to do so. When all have come into the Spiritual Nation of God then God will end this time and judge those who refuse to plead guilty and be saved. He hasn’t come yet so it is clear there are still those that will enter and haven’t yet. He will not lose even one.

    We have come out of the world of doubters and we know God, but not all of God’s children have been born.

    We should practice the first greatest commandment which is, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’, but also the second which is, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

    Those children of God that have yet to turn and become born again need our help. If we do not help them we are guilty of ignoring the second commandment.

    Truth is that if we do not obey the second commandment then we are also not obeying the first. God said that He wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4) and God can do anything, so if it is only God that saves and He wants all men to be saved then all men would be. He wants all men to be saved, yet all men are not saved. It is clear from 1 Tim 2:4 that God will not make anyone turn to Him.

    Those who have not yet turned to God must be taught the way and that is our responsibility. Consider Paul. Paul knew that we are under the New Covenant yet he sacrificed himself that others might hear and understand. Paul started many churches and if churches are what you consider systems of worship and that is what we are suppose to come out of then why did God help him?

    Look at 2 Cor 6:1 (NIV) As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. If they were workers then shouldn’t we be? They endured everything so that their ministry would not be discredited.

    (2 Cor 6:16&17 NIV) What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” It was not the church that the Lord meant, but not to be yoked to unbelievers and idol worshipers: be separate from them.

    Consider the first part of Revelations where Jesus is speaking about the seven churches. He does not command anyone to come out of them. He only tells them to repent.

    (Heb 10:25 NIV) Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. This saying stay in the church, not come out.

    We must work to show the way. Both God and Jesus are at work today and we should follow that example. We are God’s children, but we are also servants. It is not the time to claim rewards. That will come when there is no more work to do.

    We are free of the penalty of our own sin, so God will not hold us accountable for not showing love for our neighbor, but how would we forgive ourselves?
    (1 Cor 10:24 NIV) Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

  14. Francisco says:

    Once again, i appreciated the tenor(spirit)of your response.

    Yet, the word “church” is but the creation of mankind’s “imag”ination, the product of pagan catholicism and her pagan harlot christian daughters…….

    They all worship one head of their three headed pagan god whom they named ‘jesus’ some 500 to 600 years past…….

    Either that or they make their “imag”ined pagan “jesus” their only “imag”ined god, their “imag”ined pagan father, their “imag”ined pagan son, and their “imag”ined pagan unholy spirit…….

    And there are those who make their “imag”ined pagan “jesus” but and angel, or a prophet…….

    Simply, The Messiah was, is and always will be, The Son of The Living Elohim(GOD), Father(Creator)of ALL…….

    And i would question, “Have you been delivered from dead works”? Can you “see” that the so-called “great commission” of catholic/christian folklore is just that, a tall tale, a LIE?

    Can you “see” that Matthew 28:19-20 was fulfilled just prior to the destruction of the natural, earthly, kingdom centered in jerusalem of old times?

    Also, “when did you receive “the love of The Truth””?

    i would appreciate your sharing that experience.

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(lies) that are of this world and it’s systems of religion……. francis

  15. astudent says:

    Francisco,

    I believe that I can see why we disagree. It is a basic disagreement not merely on the surface. I believe the Bible to be the Word of God and if that is true then the entire Bible is perfect, that is to say without error. No man is perfect and therefore no man can perfectly understand the Word of God. Because of this flaw many, wanting to teach have taught error. You see those errors and instead of blaming man you have determined that the Bible is not true. I have determined that man is wrong and that the Bible is right: only misunderstood.

    One must be truthful with God before God will be truthful with him or her. That is not to say that God would be untruthful to anyone; He just will not waste His time revealing anything to someone who is not truthful. Why would He?

    All men sin and the penalty for sin is death and death is permanent separation. Physical death is permanent separation from the world and spiritual death is permanent separation from God.

    We have all been given the Law and if we are honest will have to admit we have not kept it. Because God knows everything one sin, any time in our life will separate us from God. The one who is truly honest will have to admit this and then realizing the situation that he is in will, at the very least ask God for salvation. If he really understands he will fall on his face and beg God for salvation.

    God will not let me teach anything beyond this and neither will a man. If someone will not admit they are a sinner in need of a spiritual Savior then anything further about truth will not be accepted.

    To answer your questions the word “church” is not a creation of mankind’s imagination. It comes from the Word of God, (Mat 16:18 NIV) And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

    You say we all worship three Gods, but we all repeat Mal 2:10, Rom 3:29&30, 1 Cor 8:5&6, Eph 4:4-6, 1 Tim 2:5&6, and James 2:19, it is just that some do not understand and yet they teach. The truth is that no man understands perfectly so any man that attempts to teach God’s Word is going to error. Actually we all believe in one God. Any error is because some men do not understand completely. Men do not even understand men perfectly so how could anyone understand God perfectly?

    I agree with you when you say that the Messiah was, is, and will always be the son of the Living God, but again I say the errors that you point out are errors of men and not errors of the Bible.

    No, I can not see that Matthew 28:19-20 was fulfilled just prior to the destruction of a natural, earthly, kingdom centered in Jerusalem of old times. The natural, earthly, kingdoms (there are many) have not been destroyed. All one has to do is look around to see that. The end of the age that Jesus is speaking of is the end of the time that God will put up with the sin of man. The commands that Jesus gives are for the salvation of those who will admit that they are sinners and by being baptized prove they believe.

    I came to “the love of The Truth” by being truthful to God. I admitted that I was a sinner and could do nothing on my own to erase that sin. I asked God to forgive me and yet I knew that I had to die for my sins. God does not change and therefore He could not just forgive my sin; the penalty had to be paid. However God Himself has made and worked a plan where I might be saved. He sent His only begotten son, at a great cost to Himself, to pay my penalty. I was baptized to prove to everyone that I believe His son is that Savior and I was then given the Holy Spirit that He might teach me all things. I have the perfect teacher all I need are the questions. Men teach physical things, but the Spirit teaches Spiritual things.

    I have to add that it was the flawed system of religion that God used to show me that I was and still am a sinner in dire need of a Savior. You see, I know how I am saved. It is not just a feeling, nor is it just because God chose me. He did so because I was truthful and accepted His plan of salvation.

    Jesus said there is no other way for anyone to be saved except through him. No other religion even has a Savior. Even some of those who study the Bible claim other ways of salvation. That is why I wrote the original post, because if God just chooses then Jesus is not the only way of salvation. If God chooses with out Jesus then there are two ways to heaven and that would make Jesus a liar. And if Jesus lied he would have to die for his own sin and I would have no Savior.

    Now that I have been truthful to you will you not be as truthful to me and tell me how you believe you have been chosen for salvation? What do you base your beliefs on?

  16. Francisco says:

    Sadly your ‘god’ is nothing but “the colored marks written on a dead tree”…….

    You are at best catholic and at worst a christian ;-(

    Yet there is hope…….

    For Miracles do happen…….

    And Truth is Alive and never ending…….

  17. Susejevoli says:

    Funny how each time you take jabs at Calvinism, God seems to raise up people to respond to you. The tragedy in this is that it leads nowhere since you’re not really after understanding, you just want to promote your own views.

    At the peak of all this tragedy is that real calvinists can see arminians, and you as brothers, yet you can sit there questioning our loyalty to Jesus.

    I guess since we see John Calvin as a Godly man, and you can’t, we must be wrong. Our faith must be false because it is in direct contradiction to Biblical Jesus. If we’re hurt or frustrated by your understanding of the necessity of freewill, it must be due to our enormous pride, even if it is pride in God’s supremacy over His creation.

    I don’t know what made you think the term ‘compatibilistic’ would be found in a dictionary, except maybe the one at the back of Study Bibles. Maybe you should try googling it? It’ll send you in the right direction, but i sincerely hope you’re sharp and discerning enough to not buy the false and unhelpful things.

    You know astudent, i know you have covered this at length, but a lack of evidence seems to point me grudgingly into the direction of hypocrisy. You seem like a man that says one thing, but does another. It’s like you subconsciously take the roll of a teacher, but have somehow manage to convince your consciousness to operate under the pretense of a student.

    Maybe you can help me out. If you tell me your age, and what you do, perhaps i can better discern how seriously to take you. Or maybe you can quote a few examples of how you might have been rebuked him the past by mature Christians so i can see the reality of your words.

  18. Susejevoli says:

    Francisco, you are so lost dude. You should be obsessed with repentance, and sin, not destruction and perversion (not that there is no room for this). I checked out your blog, where’s Jesus?

    No Jesus? Sorry dude, better repent or express train to hell. It’s not the faith that saves you, it’s the object of your faith. If you’re zealous for a god that doesn’t exist, that’s going to be a problem… for you.

    Step back, take a breath, examine the facts and chose the right thing.

  19. Francisco says:

    Who is this “catholic/christian” “jesus”?

    DISCLAIMER: The following is written concerning the religious systems of this wicked world, not individuals. Recorded for revelation, not condemnation, in hopes there would be those who would “see” and “hear”, for all who do so will take heed unto The Call of The Only True G-D and “Come out of her, MY people”…….

    “The Way of Truth is evil spoken of” because of pagan “catholicism” and her harlot pagan “christian” daughters ;-(

    Their “imag”ined “jesus christ” is not The Messiah! It was some five hundred years ago that they named one head of their three-headed pagan “god”, “jesus”, during a time that has been called the “reformation”. Prior to that time there was no “j” sound in the english language…….period…….

    And the pagan “christian” name of ‘jesus’ is the transliteration of The Messiah’s G-D given Hebrew birth name from the pagan catholic latin word ‘iesus’ not the pagan greek word ‘iesous’ which is recorded in all the greek transcripts from which religious “biblical” translations were made…….

    And the “reformation”, the time during which the english ‘j’ sound was “imag”ined, was an aptly named time! For it was a time when “catholicism” birthed her harlot “christian” daughters ;-( Her “christian” daughters are of her substance ;-( Her substance was merely “reformed” so that her “christian” daughters might appear a bit differently outwardly, yet inwardly they remained liken unto their pagan harlot mother ;-(

    “christianity” is but the byproduct of the fornicative relationship pagan “catholicism” has always had with “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who is “the angel of light”, “d”evil spirit that rules over this wicked world ;-(

    All religious systems, muslin, jewish, buddhist, catholic, christian ,,etc,, are Anti-Messiah!

    Religious systems of this world, all alike they are,
    Those they clone have fought, killed and died, both near and far ;-(

    And then once a week, or multiple times a day they may pray,
    Yet as hypocrites they begin each new day ;-(

    Days that are filled with deceit and lies,
    For in a “religious system” Truth can not abide ;-(

    And so the fruit of death is born of religion’s way,
    Because life is but a pawn in the wicked game they play ;-(

    Simply, Faith will not create a system of religion!

    The Messiah testified of a “wicked world”, and of His disciples being “in, not of, this world”.

    John exhorted those who believed “to love not the world or it’s things” for “the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one”!

    And James testified, “whoever is a friend of this world is the enemy of G-D(Father, Great Spirit, Creator,,)”!

    And “the god of this world”, “the father of lies”, “d”evil, is the author of all religious systems and has his way with those who are “of this world” because they follow their own “vain “imag”inations” ;-( And so it is that mankind’s “imag”ination is destroying and perverting Creation ;-(

    And Our Father(Creator) has promised that HE “will destroy those who are destroying and perverting HIS Creation(earth, air, water, vegetation, creatures, Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, .etc.)”!

    Hope is there would be those who take heed unto The Only True G-D’s Call to “Come out of her, MY people”!

    All who take heed unto The Only True G-D’s Call will exit “the broadway to destruction” and they will follow The Messiah on “The Way to The Truth of The Life”! They no longer will have their portion with the “catholic/christian” LIE or any other religious system of this world.

    The Messiah testified, “whoever lives and believes in Me(His Teachings and Life example) shall never die.”

    And then The Messiah questioned, “Do you believe this?” YES!

    And you? Do you believe? Or do you believe in death?

    If you believe in death, while there is breath(spirit) there is hope!

    For Miracles Do Happen! Thanks Be To “Our Father(Creator)”!

    Hope is that there would be those who “come out” of the “strong delusion” that is the religious systems of this wicked world, for “the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one”.

    Hope is that there would be those who believe in and receive of The Life. Hope is that there would be those who would “experience The Messiah and The Power(The Holy, Set Apart, Great Spirit) that raised Him from among the dead”.

    Hope is you will, or have experienced The Miracle that is “receiving a love of The Truth”, for all who have “received a love of The Truth” will have:

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this wicked world, for “the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one”(1JN5:19) indeed and Truth……. francis

  20. astudent says:

    Francisco,

    I didn’t deceive you or anyone. In my original post I said “We call ourselves Christians because we say we follow him”. Of course I am a Christian.

    We follow Christ because he is the only man to walk the face of this earth that is worthy to be followed. He always put the welfare of others before his own; even to death.

    God had put all things under his power. He had the authority to lay down his life and authority to take it up again. No one and nothing could have taken his life from him, not disease, accident, old age, or murder. He could have had and done anything he wanted.

    Jesus let men slander, beat, strip him naked, nail him to a cross, and then allowed them to raise that cross up where all could see his condition and death. And he did it all for me. He is the only begotten son of God, the King of kings, Lord of lords, and He is my Savior.

    Francisco……..who is going to save you?

  21. Francisco says:

    Simply your “religion” and your “savior” are anti-messiah…….

    And your ‘god’ is but “the colored marks written on a dead tree” in what the religious ones call their “bible” ;-(

    “Our Father”, HE is Alive! and HE yet communes with HIS Children…….

    Thankfully Truth is never ending…….

  22. Joseph says:

    Astudent,

    A few simple question for you to ponder on.

    1) If we are not saved by works how then are we saved?

    2) If we are saved by works how then can we trust anything Paul says.

    3) If expressing that we believe in Christ is a work does that not make Paul a lair?

    4) How powerful is the God you worship?

    5) Is your God perfect?

    6) Can your God’s will be stopped?

    7) If you did not become a Christian would that mean that God’s will was stopped, that He is not Perfect, and that a simple man is more powerful that God?

    8) Is it not more humble to say that I had nothing to do with my own salvation then to say hey I was smart enough to accept a gift that was given to me and the people going to hell were not?

    9) Can you lose your salvation?

    10) Who did Christ die for?

    11) If all people does that mean some of His blood was wasted by people not accepting?

    I ask these questions just to make you think about what you have said about Calvinists not being Christians. As I have read through your posts I see that you claim in one place not to be a Calvinist but in others tend to agree with them.

    Because you only want quotes from the Bible I would direct you to read all of Paul’s writings and the Gospel of John. You will find that in them the Biblical answers to the questions above.

    In Christian Love
    Joseph
    A student at SBTS

  23. Susejevoli says:

    Francisco dude, you sound like a cult leader. Read the Bible again, think for yourself.

    “And your ‘god’ is but “the colored marks written on a dead tree” in what the religious ones call their “bible” ;-(”

    Why do you keep quoting yourself? It doesn’t give your position anymore authority or credibility. I’m afraid if you don’t focus on Biblical Jesus, your god is at best a figment of your imagination, and at worse, one wicked demon playing with you.

    “Our Father”, HE is Alive! and HE yet communes with HIS Children…….

    Ahuh. And we’re HIS children. I’m not sure about you dude… at least i’m not sure at the moment. Maybe your election will come in the future, but you better repent. REPENT!! >D

  24. Francisco says:

    Quite apparent that religion has had it’s way with you susejevoli ;-(

    “Read the bible”? So it is with those who but continue to “think for themselves” for they but follow the legacy of the pharisee’s and their “imag”ined catholic and christian systems of religion ;-( The very words they “read” and “read” and “read”,,, condemn them for “they have eyes but see not, they have ears but hear not”, they are of “the blind leading the blind” indeed and Truth ;-(

    “Ever learning yet never coming to an understanding of The Truth”, acquiring more and more “knowledge falsely so-called” for all they come to know are those “colored marks written on a dead tree” ;-(

    Hope is there would be those who “experience The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead” for they will no longer be of this wicked, evil world and have their portion with it’s systems of pharisaical religion…….

    “Pure And Undefiled Religion”

    “Pure religion and undefiled before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless(those children who know not The Father[Creator]) and widows(those who have not “experienced The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead) in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world.” (James 1:27)

    Simply, all other religion is impure and defiled!

    Faith will not create a system of religion…….

    Hope is there would be those who take heed unto The Call of The Only True GOD to “Come Out of her, MY people”!

    For they will “Come Out” of this wicked world(babylon) and it’s systems of religion, into “the glorious Liberty of The Children of The Only True GOD”.

    They will no longer be of those who are destroying the earth(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures)” and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Hope, Faith, Mercy, Grace, Miracles, etc.).

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this world and it’s systems of religion, for “the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one” (1John5:19) indeed and Truth…….

    Truth is never ending…….

  25. astudent says:

    Susejevoli,

    Funny how you think God is raising up people to respond. The people that respond (Disagree) are Calvinists: unless you count Francisco and he disagrees totally with Jesus.
    It might be God, or it might be pride, or it might even be Satan; who knows?

    You are correct in that I do have views that differ from Calvinist. I have tried to find a way to say that Calvinism is a different Gospel that everyone might understand, but the truth is everyone doesn’t want to understand.

    Let me try one more time. Scripture says (1 Tim 2:3&4 NIV) This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
    If God wants all men to be saved and it is Him who saves then all men would be saved. Isn’t that clear and easy to see?

    If all men will not be saved, and they will not, then there has to be some factor that either limits some from salvation or causes some to be saved. It can not be God because He has said He wants all men to be saved and He does not lie nor does He change.

    Scripture says in Rom 10:12 (NIV) For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Calvin says we can not call on Jesus unless God lets us, but that doesn’t fit with 1 Tim 2:3&4.

    It is the Holy Spirit that God sends to teach us all things and He does not send the Spirit until we show ourselves honest with Him by admitting that we are sinners in need of a Savior. Even then we must show ourselves honest by being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then He will send His Spirit to teach us.

    The Gospel is “Good News” but Calvinism is a different Gospel and therefore no Gospel at all. Calvin’s gospel is the same gospel that the Jews of the Old Testament taught, which is that only the people that God chose are those who will see heaven. The New Testament teaches that anyone can be saved. Do you see the difference? The two understandings are not compatible.

    Things changed when John the Baptist started his ministry (Mat 11:12 NIV) From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

    Forceful men do forceful things and it clearly states they grab hold of the kingdom of heaven. Calvin says it is not possible for someone to lay hold of heaven. If Calvin is right then Scripture is wrong.

    You are right when you say freewill is necessary. If it is not man that decides to ask God for salvation then God is unfair to those who are condemned. We both would agree that God can do anything, but I think that we both would agree that He would not be unfair to anyone. That would be a different god than the God I worship and a different god than One who wants all men to be saved.

    It is not pride in God’s supremacy over His creation that causes Calvinists to get upset. It is because I said they are wrong. We both agree that God is supreme over everything.

    I think it funny when Calvinist can see the humor in “evenjellybeanism” but can not laugh when humor is returned. I thought both funny, but if one has pride in themselves and what they think they know I suppose it isn’t nearly as funny.

    Susejevoli I am truly a student. I have few problems speaking with other students. I explain what I believe the Holy Spirit has taught me. I am not the best student, not even a good one. If anyone believes what I say does not agree with the Bible then they are more than welcome to attempt to explain their understanding. If they are right then we both benefit. I can not explain my views without sounding like I know and when someone sounds like they know others might view them as a teacher.

    I am not a teacher. Scripture says in Mat 23:10 (NIV) Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. Every Christian has the mind of Christ. I am only a student trying to discuss what the mind of Christ has taught me. Not being the best student I realize that I might not have understood as I should have, so I attempt to understand others views and if I see something that I believe does not agree with Scripture I say so. Those like Francisco could benefit from a teacher, but his pride in what ever he believes in (He really will not say what he believes in, he only says what he doesn’t believe in) keeps him from admitting the truth. That is he is a sinner in need of a Savior. He needs a teacher, because he does not have The Teacher.

    How could my age have anything to do with what I say? Don’t you understand that you have asked for information to show favoritism? If I am old and a graduate of a well recognized seminary then perhaps you might listen to what I say and if not, will you listen? Judge what I say by the Bible not by me. Don’t take me seriously, take what I say seriously. The realities of my words are found in Scripture and if they do not agree with Scripture then they are not real.

    As for rebuke, I haven’t been, that I remember. Rebuke is not a bad thing. If you do not let it tweak your pride it can be the best thing another human can do for someone that has already turned to the Lord. (Col 3:16 NIV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

    I thank you that you do not believe in me and I pray that you never do. I am not worthy to have followers, only Christ is worthy. If you see any wisdom in my words rest assured it came from the Mind of Christ, it only came through me, not from me.

  26. charles says:

    You said: “In order for my statement to be slander it would have to be false. It is my opinion and that is true so it is not slander.”

    It is a matter of historical record what Calvin thought and concluded about the appropriateness of obedience in the areas of teaching and making disciples. Your twisting of that truth merely exposes your heart. Someone who really had the teachable heart of a student would make an effort to understand how Calvin came to the conclusions he did, given that you seem to draw different conclusions from the same premises.

    I have quoted men of faith who attempted great things for God and expected great things from God. You would be wise to learn from them…instead you condemn them as “not believing Christ.” (Is there room in your imaginary version of Christianity for anyone else besides you?)

    Although I’m more than a little concerned that you will also refuse to listen to scripture…sure, let’s “stick to the bible”…

    You said: “You cite 1 Cor 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (NIV) But you only used the last part of it. What if Paul had not planted and Apollos had not watered? Would there be anything for God to make grow?”

    How is this “sticking to the bible?” Paul flatly says the preacher and the missionary are nothing and that God gets all the credit…you seem to throw that out and prefer to speculate on whether God’s purposes would have failed without them (all the while bizarrely claiming that you never said anything about “God needing man to do anything.”)

    For one thing, what did Jesus say?

    Matt3:9And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

    (Since you are familiar with the NT, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you who the “children of Abraham” are…they are the ones who are saved. Gal3:29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.)

    You ask “What if?” Do you believe in the Almighty? There are no real “what ifs” with God. There is no concern that things will not work out according to plan.

    Isa46:10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.
    I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’

    Dan4:35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing.
    He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.
    No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”

    Paul and Apollos were in Corinth because God intended that they accomplish His purposes at that place and at that time. (For crying out loud, Paul was NOT converted through the ministry of any man – Gal1:12 – on the contrary, God acted directly and with complete disregard for Paul’s freely chosen path of persecution and knocked him off his camel, blinded him and changed him into a new creature with new desires to want to (Paul sometimes describes it as compulsion) spread the gospel…which was the very purpose for which Paul was set apart from birth. Gal1:15). God can make known the end because He also ordained all of the means that take place prior to the end. You imagine a god that can fail, and therefore you fail to understand.

    You said: “How would it change the fact the God saves by grace if all I did was admit that I am a sinner in need of a Savior and claimed Him?

    …I am a forceful man and I have grasp(ed) hold of the kingdom of heaven and I am not letting go.”

    Calvinists affirm that we need to choose God and we must believe in Jesus to be saved. (Ironically, it’s noncalvinists like C.S. Lewis and Billy Graham who support the notion that people can be saved by subconsciously believing in Jesus while denying Him openly. And how does that motivate missions exactly?) The issue is why does that happen? Where do faith, belief and repentance come from? Before you can admit that you are a sinner who needs a Savior, you first had to understand the gospel – so why are you smart enough to understand it while your neighbor doesn’t? Why are you spiritual enough to grab hold?

    (and sorry about the ALL CAPS – I would underline instead if I knew how.)

    1Cor1:26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But GOD CHOSE the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; GOD CHOSE the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He CHOSE the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him.

    30It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus…

    1Cor4:7For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

    Ezek36:26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws…31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices.

    Phil1:29For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him…

    Acts5:31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

    Acts11:18When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

    You believe in “free will” because it fits with human philosophy, and not because it’s taught in the bible. If a person demands that their child flap their wings and fly and then punishes their failure, we would agree that it is wrong for that person to demand something that their child was not capable of. In order to hold the child responsible, the child must first have the ability to succeed. The problem comes when you try to apply this human logic to God and put “God in the dock” (something C.S. Lewis correctly noted was a miserable idea).

    You probably read commands in the bible where God says “I set before you life and death…choose life…” or “Repent and believe!” as evidence that we are “free to choose” and therefore must have the capacity to obey. (You do this because human philosophy is the foundation of your beliefs and not scripture.) At the same time, you ignore commands such as “Be perfect” and “Love God with all your heart…” which any sane person would realize are impossible – we don’t have the ability to be perfect, yet God is right in both demanding it of us and punishing those who fail to keep the whole law. And there is no reason to believe we are any more capable of obeying the command to “choose life” or “repent and believe” than we are of “being perfect” from the biblical evidence (quite the opposite). Calvinists affirm what the bible teaches: both that man is responsible to obey even if he lacks the capacity or ability to obey.

    Instead of being a demonstration of our freedom, the law exists to demonstrate our inability:

    Rom3:20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

    What the bible teaches is not “free will” in the humanistic sense, but only freedom to choose what we want…or freedom to choose according to our nature. Good trees bear good fruit. A salt spring produces salt water. And we lack the power to change our fallen nature.

    Luke6:43No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

    James3:10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

    Jer13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?
    Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.

    And what does the bible say about the fallen nature that motivates our choices? You claim that we CAN choose God, that we CAN UNDERSTAND and that we are ABLE to choose Him…but the bible says otherwise:

    Psa 51:5Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
    Jer17:9The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

    (before the flood) Gen6:5The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that EVERY inclination of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY evil ALL the time.

    (after the flood – same thing) Gen8:21The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though EVERY inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.

    1Cor2:12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, THAT WE MAY UNDERSTAND what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he CANNOT understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    2Cor4:3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they CANNOT see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

    Rom3:10As it is written:
    “There is no one righteous, not even one;
    11there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.”

    John6:35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away…44No one CAN come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day…63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 64Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one CAN come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”

    Rom8:6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is HOSTILE to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor CAN it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

    John8:34Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” 42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because YOU ARE UNABLE to hear what I say… 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. THE REASON YOU DO NOT HEAR IS THAT YOU DO NOT BELONG TO GOD.”

    (Is Jesus mistaken here? I’ll bet you’d typically claim that He has it backwards – you believe that the reason that someone does not belong to God is because they will not listen to Him and believe in Him. He says the same kind of thing when He claims that His sheep hear His voice, while you’d claim instead that those who hear His voice and choose Him can become one of His sheep. Again, you’d be in disagreement.)

    John14:16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world CANNOT accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

    The bible uses the metaphor of being “born again.” Did you choose to be born the first time or did other people make decisions and take actions that led to your being given physical life? So when the bible speaks of being “born of God”, “born of the Spirit” or “born from above” why do you insist that you chose it?

    1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. (ESV) (some translations make this more confusing but it is the same verb tense as 2:29If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.)

    To conclude: in our natural, fallen state, the bible teaches that we cannot see the light of the gospel, we cannot understand, that every inclination of our hearts are evil – we are slaves to sin – and that no one CAN come…no one is ABLE to come…unless God draws them (and that everyone who is drawn, will come and will be raised up at the last day and saved). Sounds awfully Calvinistic to me.

    Pelagians throw out the bible and teach what you seem to teach: that our wills are pure and unfallen…so even if we are hostile towards God and don’t understand the gospel, we can still choose Jesus completely against our natures…even while we despise Him. This strikes me as nonsense. Ultimately, the issue is that you judge the bible based on human philosophy rather than submitting yourself to the scriptures. While the bible absolutely teaches that every single person is invited to come to Christ (everyone MAY come), it also absolutely teaches that no one CAN come. When we have been raised spiritually (“born again”), our new nature does choose Jesus…but all of the credit goes to God. We love because He first loved us. We choose because we were first chosen by Him.

  27. charles says:

    There is one other issue besides a nonbiblical notion of the human will which requires explaining. You seem to read the bible, not as a student, but as a typical lazy modern westerner who assumes the bible was written to them, instead of making an effort to understand what the bible was communicating to the 1st century primarily jewish culture to whom it was originally written.

    This commonly shows up when dealing with interpreting “all” (greek “pas”) or “world” (“kosmos”).

    Instead of looking at the context and nature of the issues confronting the early church (primarily whether gentiles could be Christians at all without first becoming jews), many people simply assume that “all means all” and these words must be referring to every single person. So let’s look at that assumption which you are making:

    1Tim6:10For the love of money is the root of ALL evil (KJV)

    Here is one example of “pas” in Pauline correspondence. Is the love of money the root of every single kind of evil? Did David commit adultery for money? Or do more modern translations understand the greek more accurately when they translate this verse as “For the love of money is a root of ALL KINDS of evil.”

    Acts2:17In the last days, God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on ALL people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy…”

    Here again “all” does not mean “all=every single person” – “all” means “all kinds”: men and women, young and old; but specifically the people of God or “elect”.

    Titus2:11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to ALL men. 12It teaches US to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

    Who are the “all men” here? Paul uses the word “for” in v.11 to connect this thought with what came before: Titus 2:2Teach the older men … 3Likewise, teach the older women …4Then they can train the younger women …. 6Similarly, encourage the young men …9Teach slaves … Titus is to teach all kinds of people because the grace of God has appeared to all kinds of people, but specifically meaning to believers.

    1Tim2:1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for EVERYONE— 2for KINGS and all THOSE IN AUTHORITY, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants ALL men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for ALL men—the testimony given in its proper time. 7And FOR THIS PURPOSE I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the GENTILES.

    If God wanted every single person to be saved, I agree with you that they would be. The point more likely is that God wants all kinds of people to be saved, such as kings and those in authority, the jews and the gentiles. So what about the “world/kosmos.” First, since many of these texts are found in John’s writings, let’s establish that John was primarily concerned with jewish congregations as established in Gal2:9.

    Gal2:9James, Peter and JOHN, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they TO THE JEWS.

    John3:16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
    1John2:2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

    So when looking at the above usages of the word “world”, it’s important to consider how a jew at that time would have understood it. Here is another passage written by John which is virtually a parallel to 1John2:2:

    John11:51He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.

    God so loved the world, not just the jews (and Rom9 makes clear that not every physical jew is a true child of Abraham) but also “the scattered children of God”: the believing gentiles. There are several other arguments that explain why 1John2:2 could never be referring to unbelievers – that Jesus’ role as substitutionary sacrifice is connected to His role as high priest and since He ONLY prays for believers, present and future, (John17:20) but refuses to pray for “the world” (John 17:9) in His High Priestly Prayer, there is no biblical reason to believe that He died for nonbelievers. (Also, we are told in Rom8 that God gave up Jesus for us – meaning believers or “those whom God has chosen” and those for whom Christ is interceding).

    Rom8:32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for US all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

    Can you do this one?
    Heb2:9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for EVERYONE.
    10In bringing MANY SONS to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of THEIR salvation perfect through suffering. 11Both the one who makes men holy and THOSE WHO ARE MADE HOLY are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them BROTHERS. 12He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers;
    in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” 13And again,
    “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the CHILDREN God has given me.”
    14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16For surely it is not angels he helps, but ABRAHAM’S DESCENDANTS.

    2Pet3:3First of all, YOU must understand that in the last days SCOFFERS will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4THEY will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5But THEY deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of UNGODLY MEN.
    8But do not forget this one thing, DEAR FRIENDS: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with YOU, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    2Pet3 is discussing the second coming – why does Jesus delay when the church is suffering? When v.9 says that the Lord does not want anyone to perish in the context of being patient with “you”, who is being referred to as “you” and who is being referred to as “they” who are promised judgment and destruction? Then tell me why you probably routinely pull v.9 out of that context and treat it as referring to every single person in the world?

    1Sam2:22 Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. 24 No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear spreading among the LORD’s people. 25 If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death.

    According to the bible, why did Eli’s sons not listen to their father and repent? Reconcile this passage with 2Pet3:9 above.

    John12:19So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the WHOLE WORLD has gone after him!”
    20Now there were some GREEKS among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” … 32But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL MEN to myself.” 33He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

    Was every single person in the world really following after Jesus? Or were a lot of people…all different kinds of people, like greeks…following after Jesus. In John 6, everyone that was drawn by the Father also came to Jesus and would certainly be raised up. So would every single person come to Jesus, or was Jesus speaking to the 1st century about the dividing wall of hostility between jew and gentile that was coming down? That no longer would it be said that “He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the LORD.” (Psa147:19-20)? It’s very reasonable from the context to conclude that Jesus came “first for the jew, then for the gentile” and was speaking of drawing ALL KINDS of people to Himself. (After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. Rev7:9) OTOH, there are some “whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world” (Rev17:8) – I don’t understand why you think that Jesus would attempt to draw them.

    Sorry about the book length response but you said you wanted to discuss the bible and there’s a lot to discuss and it needs to be discussed in context, rather than ripping out a single verse here and there and just asking “what does this mean to me?” I hope sooner or later you seriously consider what the bible actually teaches – interpreting it by itself instead of comparing it to human philosophy and considering the culture in which it was written – instead of just what you have been taught in the past.

  28. charles says:

    You said: “… He does not send the Spirit until we show ourselves honest with Him by admitting that we are sinners in need of a Savior.”

    John 3 teaches that the Spirit goes wherever He pleases. Ezek 36 teaches that God goes to people with stone hearts and dead spirits and makes them new…and after they have been changed, THEN they repent and desire to obey. Interesting that you are not quoting scripture to make this point.

    You said: “If it is not man that decides to ask God for salvation then God is unfair to those who are condemned.”

    So God is in the dock – being charged with unfairness. God invites everyone but no one is coming, no one seeks God. The bible teaches that God “does as he pleases with the peoples of the earth.” If God decided to save some, rather than judge every single person, on what grounds do you charge Him with unfairness towards His creation? Where do the scriptures teach that God owes us something?

    Rom9:14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

    (Rom9 says that Pharaoh was raised up in order to show God’s power – even to sending death on the first born of the Egyptians – and supposes that Pharaoh will complain as you suggest: “If I was raised up to oppose God, so that His power would be demonstrated…if I was divinely put in a position to fail…then God is guilty of entrapment. If it was God’s will that I oppose Him so that He could use the situation to establish Passover/Communion…how I am still to blame? Who resists God’s will?” God’s answer there won’t satisfy you…He rejects the notion that His creation has the right to judge Him.)

    You said: “We both agree that God is supreme over everything.”

    No. You deny that God is supreme over human will. The bible says – hey, who is the most “free” person you can imagine? A king? Well…

    Prov21:1The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

  29. astudent says:

    Joseph,

    We do not differ on how we are saved. We both understand we are saved by the grace of God. What we differ on is the method that God uses for salvation.

    Paul didn’t say we were saved by works. Paul said (Rom 5:18 NIV) Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. But we know all men will not enjoy that life. God says He wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:4) But we know all men will not be saved.
    Something other than works brings salvation and it can not be only God if He wants all men to be saved. First Timothy 2:4 are not my words, but the words of God.
    Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV) He also said “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23 NIV) If Calvin was right Jesus could not have truthfully said “If any one loves me”. He would have had to say ‘If my Father makes anyone love me’. If Calvin was right God would not have said that He wanted all men to be saved, because He certainly has the power to save all men and yet He will not save all men.

    You ask if expressing what we believe in Christ makes Paul a lair and I would have to ask ‘what do you believe in Christ?’. Do you believe He is the Messiah or do you believe God just chooses and there really is no need of a Messiah, because if God just chooses there would be no need of a Messiah. We would both agree that God has the power to just choose, so why do you think He had to subject His only begotten son to such pain and humiliation?

    There is nothing new about Calvinism. It is only an attempt to continue the Old Testament idea that God chooses His Children and there is nothing we can do about it. That is the same thing Jews proclaimed. If God made you a Jew you were saved and if He made you a gentile you didn’t have a chance. We see they were wrong, but we can not see that we are!

    I take affront to your inference that I do not worship the Living God. When you ask how powerful the God I worship is you infer that I do not worship the God of the universe and that is what you meant to do. You infer that I am not as humble as you are. Perhaps you should look in a mirror and judge yourself. I would rather you accuse me openly than to cunningly suggest something. There is something not quite honest when an accusation is hidden. (Prov 27:5 NIV) Better is open rebuke than hidden love.

    It is not being proud to accept the offer of God. If God made the universe and everything in it, even me, and then He made and worked a plan that I might be saved, then offered salvation to anyone who would accept His plan of salvation, then how in the world could anyone be called proud for merely accepting His way? Truth is I have found Calvinist way too proud of how humble they are, which of course shows them not humble at all.

    Yes, the blood of Christ was wasted on those who will not accept God’s plan of salvation and God will show just what He thinks of that waste at the end of time.

    Thanks for suggesting that I read God’s word: as if I do not. Is it too had to see that I have studied and because I did I have a different view than Calvin? I got this way by studying the Bible and Calvinist got their way by studying Calvin. You would do well if you took your own advice.

    A student of God’s word is anyone, anywhere, that studies the Word. It matters not if you are at SBTS. It was merely a worldly way to attempt to say you are more qualified than I am. Perhaps you are more qualified, but even that wouldn’t make you right all of the time. Actually it seems that quite often seminaries confuse students. Perhaps it is because there are many there that call themselves teachers. And they do so even when the Bible says not to!

  30. astudent says:

    Francisco,

    (James 1:27 NIV) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
    No man has kept himself from being polluted by the world! The verse doesn’t say pure religion is for those who God keeps from being polluted by the world.
    Jesus is the only man who was kept from being polluted by the world. The real truth is you have been polluted by the world just as I have. If you are honest you will admit to sin. You need a Savior just as all men do. You can not be your own savior, because you have become polluted. You have created your own God in your own mind. Test your own beliefs, go walk on water. Not to show me, but just to prove to yourself how pure you are.

    The whole world is not under control of the evil one. (1 John 4:4 NIV) You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
    Sorry the verse does not speak about you because just a few verses further John says (1 John 5:5 NIV) Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
    But it could be you if you would only come to your senses and admit that you have sinned and need a Savior. As it stands you are still under the control of the evil one, because you do not believe Jesus is the Son of God. You are prophesying out of your own imagination.

    The evil one has deceived you into believing you have overcome the world by your own intellect. It should be a dead giveaway when you can not find another witness for your own imagination. It’s all about you Francisco.

  31. Francisco says:

    Quite clear that you have not received “the love of The Truth”…….

    Sadly, you are naught but a catholic/christian clone ;-(

    Yet while there is breath(spirit) there is hope.

    For Miracles do happen!

  32. astudent says:

    charles,

    First I want to thank you. In your second comment you said that I was a typical lazy modern westerner who assumes the Bible was written to them, instead of making an effort to understand what the Bible was communicating to the first century primarily Jewish culture to whom it was originally written.

    I have to admit that when I read your comment that I was a typical lazy modern westerner who assumes the Bible was written to him, my stomach fell to the floor. You are right I am a typical lazy modern westerner and that convicts me. However you are also right that I assume the Bible is written to me: and not just to me, but to everyone, no matter what time period they may find themselves in. God has sent me the Holy Spirit to teach me all things and He has supplied me and everyone else the Bible as His Textbook. When I examine what you say I ask myself ‘What would God say to me that would be different from what He would say to anyone else?’ and I know that God does not lie, so what ever He said to the Jewish people He is also saying to me; if I were facing the same circumstances. I had already pondered this question so you are not right about making an effort to understand if the Bible was written to me. The Bible is a very long personal letter, written to me. I am not reading someone else’s mail.

    If you examine your own beliefs I think you will agree with me. If not then why do you quote Scripture to me? If God was only communicating to the first century Jewish culture then what could it be saying to me? I am not one from the first century. We do not wear the same clothing and we do not have the same men as our masters, but men are the same whether or not they are Jewish, Gentile, and no matter what time frame God may have put them.

    Now, I would appreciate it if you would not say that I am applying human logic to my understanding. It seems that when you apply logic to understanding it is somehow different than when I do.

    We agree on Scripture, but we do not agree on the understanding of Scripture. When you quote Scripture I always agree with it, but when you make conclusions based on that Scripture I do not always agree. That is our disagreement, not Scripture itself.

    We seem to have some other differences that are holding us back from agreeing. In your first comment you said that I was twisting the truth and that exposed my heart. That was uncalled for and not true. If I have a different understanding than you it may seem to you that I am twisting truth, but I am after truth and I can not agree with you if your view seems wrong. I would be a liar if I did so. Please do not accuse me of twisting truth and I will try not to accuse you of the same. If you do I will forgive you and not hold it against you, but because it is not true it only serves to muddy up the waters.

    The other thing that is standing in the way of a true discussion of “God’s way” is man’s credentials. You say that I should learn from Calvin and other men of great faith, but they are only men and all men are flawed. Why would I attempt to learn from flawed men when I have the Holy Spirit that God has sent to me, to teach me all things? (John 14:26)

    You, if you have come to your senses and asked God to save you from your sins and have been baptized, have the same Spirit sent to you with the same task, so why would you look to mere men to teach you all, or even anything. Wouldn’t it be better to consider what they say as questions and then rely on The Teacher to do His work?

    I am not implying that you did not ask God for a Savior, or that you have not been baptized. I don’t know your background and I don’t want to, because I do not want it to influence me in any way. However I will say this, if you have not been baptized then we might as well stop here, because if you have not you would not be able to understand God’s way. Scripture says (Luke 7:29-30 NIV) (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.) I say this because it is basically “God’s way” of salvation that we seem to disagree on and we would both waste our time if you have not been baptized. (I have)

    I am going to stop here, though I plan on trying to explain Scripture as I understand it, point for point, using your comments as a guideline. There will be times that I sound like a teacher, but I am only a student trying to explain what I have been taught. (1 John 2:27)
    If you can look at yourself as a student and not as a teacher then we can continue in peace.

    This tread of comments is getting quite long. I think that I will also write a few posts on what Calvin did not understand. I know that Calvin is your hero so I probably know what you are thinking, but it is true that Calvin did not understand some of the very basics and I don’t think that he would have written as he did, if he did! It would probably be better to continue this difference at the new post, but if you do not want too we can continue here. The ball is in your court.

  33. Francisco says:

    astudent wrote: “You are right I am a typical lazy modern westerner and that convicts me.”

    Your own words condemn you indeed and Truth.

    And your “honesty” is of no benefit to you or others for it is quite clear that you have not received “the love of The Truth”.

    Until you take heed unto The Call of The Only True GOD, Father(Creator)of ALL to “Come Out of her, MY people”, until you “Come Out” of this world and it’s systems of religion you will remain “a typical lazy modern westerner” rather than a Child of The Only True GOD…….

    Sadly you have chosen, and yet choose religion’s way ;-(

    Yet there is hope.

    For Miracles do happen!

  34. Joseph says:

    I am sorry I asked you questions I thought that you were a student. You assume that I am out to get you I am not You assume that when I said where I was a student it was out of pride it was not. You assumed that I was trying to rebuke you I was not.

    I suggest you love

  35. Susejevoli says:

    Astudent,

    Funny how you think God isn’t the cause. Either way I don’t know either, it’s just an observation because the Calvinists who suddenly appear to challenge your jabs aren’t regulars at your blog. I have much confidence that the next time you elevate yourself higher in authority than the great Godly men of history whom are still remembered today – another will be raised up to challenge your arrogance.
    Just so you know, even though you might not be a strict Arminian, your interpretation of the Bible plots you closer to that camp than ours, but ultimately I hope you realize that whether people identify themselves as a Calvinist, or an Arminian, or anywhere in between (provided they don’t forgo the non-negotiables of the Christian faith), whether through their own study and conclusion, or through exposure to either theology – they are still Christian.

    This is simply because whether you’re an Arminian or Calvin, people of both camps recognize their sin, the wrath of the Father on them, and their need for the atoning sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the cross.

    It is an in-house debate regarding how’s.
    Astudent, stop trying to convince me of the necessity of freewill because I think it is rubbish. When I read and study the Bible, this isn’t the picture I get, and it is likewise with my life, and the lives of many Christians around me. With my regenerated mind and heart, the only thing I see more clearly each day is the depth of my own depravity. For you to constantly harp on about my (our) ability to choose God when I was at the peak of my depravity is like a slap in the face.

    This isn’t about pride concerning being right or wrong. That’s childish high school behavior. We’re Christians living in, surrounded by a fallen society that is blinded and is constantly mocking us and persecuting us. No mature Christian is going to flip just because some random blogger online said they were wrong. It is more likely we’re at odds with your attitude, your arrogance.

    Okay, so you’re probably asking – “what about the case I (you) presented?” You gave me 3 verses that seem to support your views, let me ask you – what do you make of the case Charles presented? What about when God says that every inclination of the heart of men was wicked ALL THE TIME, before and after the flood? How do you interpret that other than we’re all wicked, depraved and none of us seeks God?

    Here it is again, so you can interpret it in ways that fit your views:

    Genesis 6:5-8 (New International Version)

    5 THE LORD SAW HOW GREAT MAN’S WICKEDNESS ON THE EARTH HAD BECOME, AND THAT EVERY INCLINATION OF THE THOUGHTS OF HIS HEART WAS ONLY EVIL ALL THE TIME. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

    Genesis 8:20-21 (New International Version)

    20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, EVEN THOUGH [A] EVERY INCLINATION OF HIS HEART IS EVIL FROM CHILDHOOD. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

    Romans 3:10-12 (New International Version)

    10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, NOT EVEN ONE.”[a]

    I guess you astudent must be the exception. One heck of a righteous student you must be! I don’t suppose the computer is an idol in your life? Do you even honor God with your hands? Are you a good steward of your time? Or your gifts? Your resources? Yes? Really?

    While millions of Christians are out there being persecuted for the kingdom of God, to reach the lost, you sit here insulting them, accusing them of being false converts? Oh jee, despite wasting hundreds of hours on the computer doing this, in your arrogance and ignorance you denounce pastors and theologians who spend the same time honoring God of being proud? Or lacking in wisdom by forgetting the basics? You question their humility?

    All this while you can’t even remember the last time you got rebuked? Are you so righteous that you are sinless? So much so that you can’t even remember the last time the Holy Spirit has rebuked you either through someone else who is part of the body of Christ, or through the Scriptures?

  36. Susejevoli says:

    “The Gospel is “Good News” but Calvinism is a different Gospel and therefore no Gospel at all.”

    False.

    The Gospel is Good News. The fact that God saves ANYONE while ALL ARE WICKED is dam Good News to me. What did you say? God can’t be God? He can’t do what He likes? Like kill lots of people and send them to hell? Really? I guess when the Bible spoke about the flood, it must have been joking. I mean… it would have to be right? Since that would be ‘unfair’ by your standards, and we know that anything that contradicts your standards – or preconceived notions – can’t be right.

    I guess herein must exist a paradox. You are somehow the exception to God’s Word. Your standards have somehow become higher than God who DEFINES the standards of good and evil. It certainly can’t just be you misunderstanding or interpreting because we all know you are the one righteous student who is the embodiment of wisdom. Where flawed Godly men have failed, you have succeeded on this blog. Every time. Even though you have never been wrong, you are still humbling yourself as a student. Amazing.

    Romans 9:14-24

    14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f] 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

    19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ “[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

    22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

    Who are you to say what God can and can’t do, and what He does is ‘unfair’? You are but a mere pot, maybe you should read the book of Job. God can do whatever the heck He does, it’ll still be righteous, fair, loving, awesome. I am going to eat my words one day when God demonstrates this in my life, but that doesn’t change anything.

    From the book of Job:

    The the Lord answered Job out of the storm.
    He said:
    “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?
    Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you will answer me.
    “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand.
    Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
    On what were its footings set or who laid its cornerstone –
    while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

    […]
    40:1 “Will the one who contends with the almighty correct him?
    Let him who accuses God answer him!”

    The Job answered the Lord:

    “I am unworthy – how can I reply to you?”
    I put my hand over my mouth.
    I spoke once, but I have no answer – Twice but I will say no more.”

    […]
    42:5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
    Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

    (http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/xian/basics/sov.html)

    “Susejevoli I am truly a student.”

    Really? A real student who recognizes that he isn’t even a good one will be with constant rebuke. You admitted yourself that you haven’t been. It seems everyone around you has a problem of pride except you, we are all flawed like you, but somehow we’re the only ones who sin enough to be rebuked, or make mistakes in our theology.

    It seems that by your understanding we can all be lazy bloggers and the Holy Spirit will reveal to us all the truth that God’s Word has to offer. There’s no need to go to seminary since it’ll only confuse you. There’s no benefit to spending time with God all day or even to pursue it because it seems the life of a lazy blogger will yield more wisdom, more blessings.

  37. Susejevoli says:

    I also pray that not only me, but no one else takes you seriously, because they just might end up operating under the pretense of a flawed student, only to develop so much pride that they become blind to their own ignorance, and arrogance. Instead becoming people who are quick to point out the mistakes of others, denounce authority, especially those who have come before, and done much greater things (by the power of God, because of their willingness).

    I regret not being discerning enough in the past to evaluate you more fully before opening my mouth to praise you. You need some harsh, Godly rebuke to humble you, to put weight behind your empty words promoting false humility that is deceiving many who come.

  38. Susejevoli says:

    PS: Here’s a REAL study of Romans 9: graceonlinelibrary.org/articles/full.asp?ID=51|51|423

    On the same website, you can read up on Calvinism if you really want to find out, instead of just taking jabs to promote your own agenda. Or to attract people.

    graceonlinelibrary.org/articles/default.asp?id=1

    And here’s a book you might to purchase to better understand the heart of John Calvin, who has served the Lord so well that we today still celebrate his birthday.

    http://www.challies.com/archives/book-reviews/john-calvin-pilgrim-and-pastor.php

    Of course I need not remind you that if you read these articles with a narrow mind and a proud heart you’re not going to get anything out of it. But maybe it’ll just prove my point that you’re not here to learn like a humble average student, but a proud “student” who only wishes to promote his views upon his brothers and sisters.

    “How could my age have anything to do with what I say? Don’t you understand that you have asked for information to show favoritism? If I am old and a graduate of a well recognized seminary then perhaps you might listen to what I say and if not, will you listen?”

    Show favoritism? You’re a student who has never been wrong, never taken rebuke, where’s the humility in this except in your empty words? I don’t even take you seriously anymore. The fact that you denounce authority so many times, so easily, makes me think that you’re a relatively young person who has no formal training in Godliness. I’m just trying to figure out where you stand in life to get a better picture, to understand the source of your arrogance, be it a young person full of non-applicable ideas, or old person who is spiritually or physically scarred, with a hardened heart.

  39. charles says:

    You said: “Please do not accuse me of twisting truth.”

    You made a number of irresponsible claims in your original entry that showed a complete disregard for the historical record, while replacing the facts with conclusions that you merely invented in your head. You accused Calvin and Reformed Christians everywhere of beliefs they simply do not hold. Surely you’ve written articles and essays for school without making up quotes or inventing actions for historical figures. You know how to research and footnote papers to properly support your conclusions with some degree of integrity. Why would you throw that out when speaking of other Christians? “If he understood Calvinism (Jesus) would have known that he didn’t have to be sacrificed for the sin of the world?” Footnote this – show me where a Calvinist really taught this. Or else just ask questions since you clearly don’t understand Calvinism enough to make this kind of statement. I am not trying to be mean. I am trying to help you understand…or at least to help you disagree in a more productive manner.

    Note that when I stated that C.S. Lewis and Billy Graham believed that people could be saved without having to consciously believe in Jesus – a fact easily supported with minimal effort over at google – I did not also accuse them of denying the command to “make disciples” or say that they did “not believe Christ.” They meant well – making an effort to justify God in man’s evaluation according to man’s philosophy – but they needed to speculate outside of scriptural teaching (and against Rom10:13 in all appearances) to make it work. They got a lot of things right and I don’t doubt that they are Christians, but in that ONE area, I have a lot of concerns about their teaching…but there’s no need to accuse them of imaginary arguments that they never made…

    To be clear, I am not accusing you of twisting scripture, although we do disagree on how to properly interpret it in a number of areas. I am concerned that you blame Calvin for teaching that we CANNOT understand the gospel and we CANNOT believe in Jesus apart from the renewing work of the Spirit when it is the scriptures which teach this. Calvin simply concludes that the bible means what it says…and that our lack of natural ability is consistent throughout scripture…it’s the very reason boasting is forbidden – scripture’s internal logic is perfectly consistent. (This is what I mean when I question whether you are interpreting scripture based on what it says alone, or whether you are looking to what is morally right according to human tradition and interpreting scripture from that.) But I will look forward to your explanations of why scripture merely means that people “will not” believe when it so often states that they “can not” believe and lack the ability.

    You said: “You say that I should learn from Calvin and other men of great faith, but they are only men and all men are flawed. Why would I attempt to learn from flawed men when I have the Holy Spirit…”

    Do you not go to church to hear a preacher? Have you never listened to a Sunday School teacher? Do you ever read books that discuss the scriptures? Commentaries that help explain when one verse may be referencing another verse which you had not considered?

    I suspect you are engaging in silly debate tactics here…you quoted Heb10:25, why do you think we are to be in community with other believers? Scripture is the only authority (as reformed people would say “sola scriptura”: scripture alone), but wiser Christians can certainly help us understand scripture better. Only a fool would say otherwise. You would be right to test any man’s teaching against the rest of scripture, but you do you seriously want to deny that you can learn from the ministry of men? The Spirit teaches us, yes, but God uses means.

    (For crying out loud, you started off accusing Calvinists of refusing to obey Jesus’ command to make disciples. “If Calvin was right then no one can make disciples, baptizing has no worth, and neither does teaching. If it is only God that chooses then nothing matters.” Now you want to argue that only the Holy Spirit can teach you and that men are flawed and useless for discipling you. You blame Calvin, who did NOT teach that…Yet now you are the one arguing that human teaching has no value. Are you seriously thinking any of this through or just arguing to argue? 🙂 )

    You said: “The Bible is a very long personal letter, written to me.”

    I hate to break this to you, but you’ve been lied to by an overly individualistic western culture. The bible is a gift of enormous value…useful for teaching and encouraging us as believers. It’s the Word of God to tell us about who He is and who we really are. But when John wrote 1John2:2, he wrote it in the 1st century in a different language, most likely to one of the jewish churches he was responsible for overseeing. And a 1st century jew needed to be told that Jesus didn’t just die for them, but for the “world”, or believing gentiles as well. (And if you look at how John uses the word “world”, it almost never refers to “every single person in the world.”)

    Because the bible was written to a certain people in a certain culture, there will be different emphases than if it were written to a modern westerner. We generally don’t have the same issues as the 1st century church. Peter spent 3 years or so with Jesus, being told that the jewish food laws were thrown out (Mark 7:19). After Jesus ascended, God still had to appear to Peter in a vision 3 times to remind him not to call unclean what God called clean, so that Peter would fellowship with a gentile (Acts10). After all that, Peter STILL wound up focusing on his jewishness when Paul called him out at Antioch (Gal2). The first big church council was focused on what to do with gentile believers (Acts15). The divide between the jews and the “world” was one of the critical issues for the church of that day…and much less so now.

    Understanding what was going on at the time is extremely helpful for understanding scripture. (But, sure, there is a lot of meaning that can be worked out logically using context – unless you are determined to impose your tradition on scripture rather than letting scripture speak for itself.) Whether you like it or not, sometimes you have to apply yourself to study the Word in order to handle it correctly. (And that’s in the bible.)

    For example, John 3:16 is pretty famous and most people read it and assume they know what it means. But I know how you would interpret the word “world” – and it’s not how John’s original readers would have understood it, nor does your interpretation fit logically. Here is how many Calvinists would read it (although certainly some Calvinists differ over certain interpretations):

    For God so loved the world (meaning both jewish and gentile believers – something the pharisee Nicodemus would have needed to hear from Jesus) that he gave his one and only Son, that everyone who believes (“pas ho pisteuwn” from the greek, you remember “pas” from my earlier post, right? – John 3:16 is a promise to “all” believers, or even “all kinds” of believers if that helps make the point to Nicodemus) in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    I’m betting we agree (as far as that goes) but that you would dispute my parenthetical explanations:

    1) you would probably say that if God were writing a letter to you, that “world” would mean “every single person” and therefore also includes unbelievers. But let’s look at the context:

    17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

    v.17 tells us that the “world” is not condemned, but rather is to be saved through Him. We would agree that this is true of believers. But how does God “love” the “world of unbelievers?” In v.18, He lovingly condemns them already (in love?). This is a logical problem with your interpretation. The scripture teaches that God provides for unbelievers and shows them respect by inviting them to come to Jesus…but the “love” discussed in v.16 seems to be of the saving variety, and v.18 makes clear that such saving love is withheld from unbelievers, who instead receive condemnation.

    2) you would probably also make an issue of the word “whosoever” (despite the fact that the word is not technically even there in the greek). We would agree that whoever believes will be saved – we just disagree on why they come to believe. (There are liars out there who claim that Calvinists teach that the elect will be saved, even if that means that some unbelievers are elect and that “nonelect believers” will be condemned. Instead, we believe God’s knowledge of the future was perfect from the foundation of the world…and that every single believer is (and only believers are) numbered among the elect.)

    The biggest problem here is that when noncalvinists start using the word “whosoever”, they do so in a way that suggests that God’s knowledge of the future is lacking. Anyone who wants to come MAY come – but it’s not actually teaching that here in John 3 and to say that God is inviting “whosoever” to come because He doesn’t know…because He is giving people a “chance” and hoping for the best… as if there is uncertainty in the mind of God – who is trapped within time like us and so loves every single person initially, until at some point in time He gives up and moves them into the category of people He hates (psa5:5;11:5)…no. These assumptions only work to pull God down to a human level (which makes sense as noncalvinists often try to judge God’s fairness or goodness in human terms). I don’t know who will believe and not believe – so sure, I am to offer it freely to every single person. But God knows for certain – and to suggest that He sent His Son to die for an uncertain group of whosoevers (as opposed to dying for His Bride whom He loves) is unscriptural.

    As a result of implying and leaning towards denying God’s omniscience, many noncalvinists have moved away from arminian-ish teachings into “open theism.” Realizing that if God knew for CERTAIN that pharaoh was going to oppose Him until He struck down the egyptians (exod3:19-20) even before Moses confronted pharaoh, then pharaoh had no real power to choose otherwise. If pharaoh could not choose otherwise, then he did not have “free will” and arguments about whether God hardened him first or not were meaningless. So in order to save their human tradition of “free will”, they joined with the wicked of psa73:11 in saying “How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?” and teach that God does NOT know the future. At least be cautious of going that far…but if you watch the language you use, pay attention to whether you are even implying that God doesn’t know.

    You said: “There is nothing new about Calvinism. It is only an attempt to continue the Old Testament idea that God chooses His Children and there is nothing we can do about it. That is the same thing Jews proclaimed. If God made you a Jew you were saved and if He made you a gentile you didn’t have a chance.”

    Well, no. Actually, it was entirely possible for a “foreigner” to become a jew and observe the passover and everything – either by circumcision for men or often by marriage for women, as Ruth and Rahab demonstrated. (It always amazes me, though, that noncalvinists will concede that it was “fair” for God to spend thousands of years revealing Himself specifically to one nation and giving His Word specifically to them. Meanwhile, the gentiles only got a grumpy prophet or two like Jonah who was forced into missionary status to foreshadow the coming Messiah who would bless all nations. I think the OT is another obvious example of God’s freedom to reveal Himself to whom He chooses rather than being obligated by human notions of “fairness” to reveal Himself to every single person.)

    You said: “I know that Calvin is your hero so I probably know what you are thinking.”

    Calvin is not actually one of my heroes, but I respect his devotion to the scriptures. You have not shown a knack so far for understanding how Calvin or Calvinists understand the scriptures but I do hope you’ll take time to at least attempt to understand the logic behind it even if you don’t agree. If you’d be careful to document what you are quoting calvinists as believing , it would help a lot.

    For example, you say that “Calvin preached basically that man is totally worthless.” Where is this from? What is the context? Do you believe that your heart is “deceitful above all things” and that “NOTHING good lives in you, that is, in your sinful nature” which you need to be “rescued from?” (rom7) That probably is what Calvin meant and is entirely biblical. But unless you quote the context, it’s hard to tell if Calvin was wrong or you are misunderstanding him or even just making stuff up.

    For your consideration, here is Calvin’s commentary on Gen9:6 to help answer your random assertion: “Men are indeed unworthy of God’s care, if respect be had only to themselves. but since they bear the image of God engraven on them, He deems himself violated in their person. Thus, although they have nothing of their own by which they obtain the favor of God, he looks upon his own gifts in them, and is thereby excited to love and to care for them. This doctrine, however is to be carefully observed that no one can be injurious to his brother without wounding God himself. Were this doctrine deeply fixed in our minds, we should be much more reluctant than we are to inflict injuries. Should any one object, that this divine image has been obliterated, the solution is easy; first, there yet exists some remnant of it, so that man is possessed of no small dignity; and, secondly, the Celestial Creator himself, however corrupted man may be, still keeps in view the end of his original creation; and according to his example, we ought to consider for what end he created men, and what excellence he has bestowed upon them above the rest of living beings.”

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom01.xv.i.html

    “We ought to consider…what excellence he has bestowed upon them above the rest of living beings” = “totally worthless?” Yep. I think you might have been a little hasty… 😉

    If it makes you happy to know, God called me to Himself when I was around 10 and I was baptized by immersion at the time. I got most of my calvinistic understanding of the bible straight from the bible rather than Calvin as you assume. I’ve read his commentaries over the last few years but nothing when I was younger – and some other calvinistic writers have been very helpful in explaining how some of the details work together after college. While I was raised in “free will” type churches, I was also confronted with Jesus teaching that “You did not choose me, but I chose you” and that I was unable to come unless God enabled me, and so I accepted that although I had chosen Him, it was ultimately because He acted first to change me. I remain convinced that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion…that Jesus is both the Author and Finisher of my faith.

    It might work better to start a new topic – it’s up to you. But I hope you will take a little time to consider what I am saying rather than simply launching into a disagreement. Before you carelessly “write a few posts on what Calvin did not understand,” try to put in a little effort to demonstrate that you understand Calvin.

    If we spend more time discussing what calvinists actually believe and less on what you only imagine them to believe, it might be more productive…

  40. astudent says:

    charles,

    I haven’t answered because I have been trying to find a way to explain freewill as I understand it so that you would (not could) view it as I do. But the truth is I can not.
    You have already heard others say everything that I could say and I have already heard others say everything that you could, would, or did say.

    One of the problems between the two views is the preconceived outcome. It is like the illustration of the glass half empty or half full. It is the same glass and both viewers are exactly right about what they see; it is only the ultimate meaning derived from their view that is different and the difference did not come from what they were looking at but what they believed before they looked.

    Our difference is exactly the same. The Bible is like the glass. If I read it with your preconceived outcome I would have to admit that you are correct and if you read it with the preconceived outcome that I have you would have to admit I am correct: it is the same Bible just as the glass is the same. The difference originates from the beginning of the study not the end and all of our comments are aimed at an end. Two can not reach the same destination, using the same directions, when they start from a different starting point. I start from the town of Freewill in the country of Sinnerstobesaved and you start from the town of Nofreewill of the country of Sinnersallreadysaved and we are both headed for the city of Truth: trying to follow the same directions!

    There is one more limiting factor that stops us from agreeing. It comes from the Word of God and because of that it can not be over come. (Prov 27:17 NIV) “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Iron can, in no way, be used to sharpen iron. That is not just something that I have said. If you believe otherwise then try it. God teaches spiritual lessons by using worldly props. If iron could sharpen iron then one man could sharpen another. Because iron cannot man cannot.

    Even though it is physically provable will you accept what I say? If you did the verse would be wrong! All one man can do is offer questions to be used when consulting the Mind of Christ or in this case a question to be proved. Even though it is not possible some will say “I have just not yet found the way” and they will never understand.

    I apply the same understanding to Calvin and I get the same answer. It seems as though everyone is quick to point out Gen 8:21 to me, but they do not seem to believe it means Calvin as well. What man is really qualified to teach when every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood?

    I will tell you why I can not accept Calvin’s doctrine. Well let me say that I will attempt to explain why. At the end of the day when I put my Bible down and think about Calvin’s view of the way to be saved I see that God would be unfair to those who were not saved.

    God does not violate His own rules: even though He has the right and power to do so. I know that some of the verses in the Bible, when read with the preconceived idea that it is only God that chooses may seem as though He does and no one could deny that He could. However His law is written in my heart and I know it would not be right.

    Our comments are just going to turn into arguments about words. What is the meaning of is. The outcome is guaranteed in Proverbs 27:17 and God’s word can not be circumvented. There are times when I try to do so, but if I could the Bible would be flawed so in the end of the matter I am happy and thankful.

    I see that susejevoli is right I am turning into a teacher. Well, it is the logical outcome of attempting to explain one’s understanding of Scripture to another. I am ashamed of myself for trying to circumvent God by trying to teach others. I believe that I was deceiving myself. I have to laugh though because I didn’t have a chance of deceiving God.

    I apologize to all that I have offended. If they don’t get a chance to read this comment within the next week then you will have to apologize for me, as I am going to remove this entire blog site.

    As for me, if I attempt to help anyone’s spiritual understanding in the future it will be the lost. They do not share the Teacher and they need Him. I also will try to make a better attempt at accepting what God says when I do not want to accept it.

  41. Francisco says:

    “I start from the town of Freewill in the country of Sinnerstobesaved and you start from the town of Nofreewill of the country of Sinnersallreadysaved and we are both headed for the city of Truth: trying to follow the same directions!”

    Quite an enlightened view, yet the directions lead both to the town of theo’ry’logy in the country of religion ;-(

    One must “start” in the town of Revelation(experience) in the country of New Life, for unless one has “experienced The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead” they will remain but a clone of their chosen country(religion):-(

    Simply, Faith will not create a religion…….

    So there is hope!

    For Miracles do happen…….

  42. Susejevoli says:

    Francisco, you’re the only religious one here. While all of us can articulate dynamically from knowledge of being in a relationship with the Living God, all you can seem to do is religiously repeat yourself.

    And no one can “start” from the town of Revelation by their own will because such a divine experience can only come from God, to whom He wills.

    As for you Astudent, if this is indeed the last time our paths cross, then i’m going to answer you so that in your last memory of me, if any, i will be less of a hypocrite.

    I don’t understand you, and i probably never will. Sometimes you frustrate me to no end, and other times i am humbled by your approach. Either way, standing where we are now, i have to thank you for the experience. Whatever mess i created here i will mature from it, i hope it is the same with you.

    I am not taking back what i said, because i believe there is truth in some of it. However, i will acknowledge before you that in my frustration and anger i have sinned against God, and against you by my approach through my foul mouth, if not more.

    I am sorry for that. I will repent.

    If being a student is what you truly desire, then i hope you will pursue it in truth and actions. Make those words you utter carry weight, so that others may believe you in the future.

  43. Francisco says:

    Sadly Susejevoli your own words have but proven that theo’ry’logical religion has had it’s way with you…….

    And as for religion?

    Once again: “Pure religion and undefiled before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless(those children who know not The Father[Creator]) and widows(those who have not “experienced The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead) in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world.” (James 1:27)

    Simply, all other religion is impure and defiled!

    So it is that Faith will not create a system of religion…….

    Hope is there would be those who take heed unto The Call of The Only True GOD to “Come Out of her, MY people”!

    For they will “Come Out” of this wicked world(babylon) and it’s systems of religion, into “the glorious Liberty of The Children of The Only True GOD”.

    They will no longer be of those who are destroying the earth(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures)” and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Hope, Faith, Mercy, Grace, Miracles, etc.).

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this world and it’s systems of religion, for “the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one” (1John5:19) indeed and Truth…….

    Truth is never ending…….

  44. astudent says:

    Susejevoli,

    I do not believe you have sinned against me or against God. We are told to rebuke each other. It is very hard to rebuke someone and not be harshly as it says to do in 1 Tim 5:1. I am 68 years old: be 69 pretty soon. I would rather be rebuked harshly than not be rebuked at all. I only revealed my age because it will not make any difference now that we will no longer exchange comments: not to add any weight to what I say.

    If someone would call me a liar for claiming to be 68 they could check my post about my mother’s death. She was 96 when the Lord took her home, so I could not be a spring chicken.

    You know, I may be the only 68 year old punk you have ever known!

    Scripture says (Prov 9:8 NIV) Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. And I do love you.

    I have every intention of pursuing my studies with truth and actions. I always have though at times I have been a bit harsh with my actions.

    I am going to try to not utter many words (Prov 10:19 NIV) When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. I have pursued wisdom for a long time and I have learned much. I see that it is usually better to hold ones tongue and that is what I intend to do. It is not important that others believe me. It is only important that they believe God. If God does not add weight to my words then there is no weight to them at all.

    Anyway I have enjoyed exchanging comments with you and if you feel that I have something to forgive you for rest assured I do.

  45. Susejevoli says:

    You love me and you forgive me, you melt my heart old man. I’m really fond of what the Lord has done in you, would you like to do me 1 more favor?

    I was initially going to leave you alone once and for all, but not yet.

    You have my email, would you email me in a year’s time? I will have grown again by then, and perhaps then i will have more control over my wicked tongue. At that time I’ll let you know, and maybe you can tell me how you are going. That would also be good to know.

    You don’t have to reply, but i did grow up a little at this place, so i think i’m a little sad to see it go.

    Well, see you then, or see you in Heaven.

  46. astudent says:

    Susejevoli,

    Well, as you see I have changed my mind also. I started this site because of my conscience and after thinking about stopping it I find that my conscience would still brother me.

    I have tried to explain in my latest post so I will not repeat it here. You don’t have to wait a year to see how I am doing though sometimes it might be better too!

    Wisdom does not always come from age. Listen to Elihu in Job.
    (Job 32:6-9 NIV) So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said: “I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know. I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.

    Don’t let anyone cram something down your throat because they are older than you. You do right by doing your own thinking. You have made me aware that I had become like a teacher and was attempting to cram what I thought.

    As far as your tongue is concerned it is not possible to contain it: though it is right to try. I can not hold someone accountable for something that I can not control either.
    (James 3:8 NIV) but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

    Ha-ha, if you are quick on your feet, and I know you are, you could point out that it only says no “man”.

    I hope you have not lost any confidence in me because I have changed my mind, but then I would have to ask why you had any confidence in me to begin with!

  47. charles says:

    you said: “I apply the same understanding to Calvin and I get the same answer. It seems as though everyone is quick to point out Gen 8:21 to me, but they do not seem to believe it means Calvin as well. What man is really qualified to teach when every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood?”

    this verse is true of a fallen man, who is alive only to the flesh. when believers are born of the Spirit, they become spiritually alive and are capable of understanding the things of God. but certainly it is still important to test what any man says against scripture.

    you said: “The Bible is like the glass. If I read it with your preconceived outcome I would have to admit that you are correct and if you read it with the preconceived outcome that I have you would have to admit I am correct: it is the same Bible just as the glass is the same. The difference originates from the beginning of the study not the end and all of our comments are aimed at an end. Two can not reach the same destination, using the same directions, when they start from a different starting point. I start from the town of Freewill…”

    i was taught the same preconceived outcome – starting from “free will” – growing up reading c.s. lewis and hearing about free will at church…but i realized that concept of free will was based on greek philosophy…human philosophy…and had to put it aside. the bible teaches that my will was bound and enslaved before Christ. i want to stick with the bible alone.

    i believe i have articulated your view pretty accurately all along – i understand it very well. that is why i have been trying to focus on the beginning from the beginning – is your confidence ultimately in the bible or in your own sense of fairness?

    “However His law is written in my heart and I know it would not be right.”

    your heart is in the middle of a conflict between flesh and spirit. test what your heart says against the scripture that is constant and trustworthy.

    you said: “I will tell you why I can not accept Calvin’s doctrine. Well let me say that I will attempt to explain why. At the end of the day when I put my Bible down and think about Calvin’s view of the way to be saved I see that God would be unfair to those who were not saved.”

    well, pick the bible back up. 🙂 none of us DESERVE to be saved…God would be entirely “fair” to condemn us all. it’s only His grace and mercy that save any.

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