FIFTH PETAL OF CALVINISM: PROOF OF ELECTION

By Dr Dave Reese

Centuries of discussion over what John Calvin taught or did not teach is a wonder to behold. Any attempt to defend or disprove John Calvin is a waste of time. Besides, he was a man who originated nothing; he merely took what other believers had held for centuries before him, added some ideas of his own and put it in his “Institutes”. Due to the hotbed reformation time in which he lived and the fact that printing and publishing was available to him, he put in print what others already agreed or disagreed upon, and got the credit or the blame.

The issues Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and Arminius (plus scores of others) dealt with are the same everybody had to deal with after God called “the apostle to the Gentiles”, Paul. His ministry brought the relationship of Law and Grace and the difference between Israel and the Body of Christ to the test.

A consideration that is totally absent from Calvinism is that of the differences between the dispensations of Law and Grace. To my knowledge there has been no consideration by Calvin or anyone else of what effect “rightly dividing the word of truth” has upon the doctrines of election and predestination.

My study that follows takes the mainstream approach of Calvinism under examination in the light of right division and the difference Paul’s revelation of the Grace of God makes on the argument.

Those who read passages like “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13) argue that a man is not eternally secure and must do certain work to be saved or remain saved.

On the other hand, passages like Ephesians 2:8-10

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” are quoted by those who believe work by man does not save or keep you saved.

It is from there the battle of words begin. One group calls the other “Arminians” and that group calls the other “Calvinists”. Each one begins to set forth doctrines to prove their position.

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BEWARE OF “BENEFACTORS” BEARING GIFTS

By George Anderson Jr

The following are a few personal observations concerning the issue of so-called “same-sex marriage”.

Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

 

The debate, disagreement, and dispute over the government legalizing and legitimizing same-sex “marriage” is quite simple; and has its beginnings in the government bestowing certain “benefits” on a specific group of people (married couples) and denying those “benefits” to all others.

We have reached the point in the United States of America that, in order to be “fair” to all couples, government (city, state, or federal) has taken upon itself to redefine “marriage” rather than cease bestowing certain benefits to couples. The problem is IF, as the Holy Bible proclaims, “marriage” is the very first Institution devised and ordained by Almighty God; THEN, no institution devised or established by mankind (whether legislative, executive, or judicial) has the legitimate authority to CHANGE (or redefine) what God has ordained.When it comes to the issue of same-sex “marriage” there are certain so-called “conservative” talking-heads, commentators, and prognosticators that have little or no concern about the issue and dismiss it as being of minor importance. The problem with those so-called “conservative” commentators is that, while we (as Bible believers) may find ourselves in agreement with them on certain secular matters, when it comes to specific issues that are spiritually discerned, they have NO FINAL AUTHORITY other than their own opinions, which are solely based upon privately interpreting a matter.Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Bernie Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, et al, are informative concerning many secular issues of the day, but when it comes to “rightly dividing the word of truth” they either misinterpret it (Beck), ignore it (Goldberg & Krauthammer), dismiss it (O’Reilly), or even deny it (O’Reilly, Goldberg, and Krauthammer).

The private opinions of these men (and many others) have been heavily influenced by their personal upbringing, training, education, and beliefs. Glen Beck (a radio talk-show host) is a fairly recent convert to Mormonism; Bill O’Reilly (a journalist) is a Roman Catholic and readily dismisses whatever Bible truth he finds disagreeable as being just an “allegory”; Bernie Goldberg (a journalist) is Jewish and Charles Krauthammer (a psychiatrist) is Jewish, and while both men were born Jews, neither is considered “orthodox”, and they both dismiss any reference to Scripture or spiritual reasoning as having no relevance whatsoever to issues they consider to be solely secular.

The Lord Jesus Christ stated that those in authority over the Gentiles were called “BENEFACTORS”:

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
BENEFAC’TOR, n. He who confers a benefit, especially one who makes charitable contributions
either for public institutions or for private use.

NOTICE: Christ did not say that those in authority over the Gentiles were genuine “benefactors”; He said that they “are CALLED BENEFACTORS”. Genuine “benefactors” take (collect or extract) from their own personal property, assets, or wealth and distribute such to those people that are in need; a poser (imposter and pretender) “taxes” – i.e. appropriates, confiscates, or steals from one group of people and redistributes the “benefits” to another group of people. The personal covetousness and greed of the vast majority of people in the world is manipulated and used in such a manner so as to privately “benefit” the personal covetousness and greed of those in authority – while all the while they appear to be “benefactors” to all those people to whom they confer “benefits” on – talk about a clever, cunning, and devilishly designed scheme to obtain and wield power and authority over people!However, no matter how clever the scheme may be, no one is exempt from Scriptural decrees:

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Beware of “benefactors” bearing gifts (i.e. “benefits”). At some point they may come back and bite you when you least expect it. The “licensing” (i.e. incorporating) of churches in order for them to receive certain “benefits” from the government may some day lead to the government requiring that all churches conform to government mandated laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations – such as “same-sex marriage” – from which (since they are legally “licensed” by the government) they will be legally obliged to obey!

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Fasting/Fast/Fasted

By Chette Nichols Jr

What is your reason for fasting?

I have seen people saying they are fasting for a “Spiritual Benefit” but that is a generality and not specific.  

What spiritual benefit would anyone get through fasting?  Surely no Christian would have any additional Spiritual benefit than that which he has already received in Christ Jesus.  Every spritual benefit or blessing we have already in Christ.   Eph 1:3  Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:

Before we get into a word and verse study of fasting I want to first show what our Lord Taught on fasting.  Matt 6:16-18 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.  When we fast we are not to proclaim it, show it off or tell others about our fasting for in doing so God will not reward us and those who would show off about their fasting are in disobedience to the word of God.

Fasting Biblically seems to be for some physical benefit more than a spiritual benefit as I go through the Bible on the verses of fasting I find that most of the time it is for a reason that is outward more than inward.  Outward preservation of a person or persons lives, or an answer to an situation that affects the outward man such as church elders or a decision that needs clarification or direction.

Fasting for the wrong reason can be dangerous to both physical and spiritual health.  So one must search the scriptures and set out to fast according to God’s word and purpose not our own.

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God’s Division of His Word – Precepts/Precept

By Chette Nichols Jr

This post is a continuation of  “How God Via Inspiration Rightly Divided His Own Word”.  As stated therein God divided his word in Psalm 119 into nine divisions.  these are not the Only divisions but are important.   the divisions is Psalm 119 are as follow Laws, Testimonies, Way/Ways, Precepts, Statutes, Commandments, Judgements, Word/Words, and Ordinances

PRECEPTS / PRECEPT

Precepts is found 24 times in the Bible – all in the OT
Precept is found 11 times in the Bible – 9 times in the OT and 2 times in the NT

A precept is a written command, rule, law or a process of how to keep a command or rule  It plural form used first in scriptures tells us that there were more than one written form of a command.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
pre’-sept: A commandment, an authoritative rule for action; in the Scriptures generally a divine injunction in which man’s obligation is set forth (Latin praeceptum, from praecipere, “to instruct”)

PRECEPTS

Precepts – the plural form found only the OT

The first use of a word is fairly important and so we can establish a meaning of the word.
 Nehemiah 9:14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: Here we see the first use of the word precepts in conjunction to God’s commands, he commanded them three things Precepts, Statutes and Laws.  These were the twelve original written by the finger of God on two tablets and then later rewritten on tablets by Moses along with many other commands, statues and laws.

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God’s Division of His Word – Way/Ways

By Chette Nichols Jr

This Study sprang out of the desire to seek God’s will on how to rightly divide the word of truth.  The first usage of the term “the word of truth” is found in Psalm 119 and therein I found the 9 divisions of God’s word of truth Laws, Testimonies, Way/Ways, Precepts, Statutes, Commandments, Judgements, Word/Words, and Ordinances. 

We are following our division as found in Psalm 119 we are following the order in which the divisions were given in Ps 119.  We have passed through two terms God has used to divide his word Laws and Testimonies  This next term is so profound that understanding it will give you a great appreciation for the one true way – Jesus Christ.

Way is found 609 times in the Bible, 479 times in the OT and 130 times in the NT
Ways is found 199 times in the Bible, 179 times in the OT and 20 times in the NT.

Way or Ways are paths to be followed, a particular direction physically, mentally or spiritually that one follows to an end.  God’s ways is his law and commandments that he gave for all Israel, his ways are also his works that he has done.

Lets look at the different ways God’s word uses the word way and ways.  There are at least 11 different phrases used with the word way or ways found in the Bible that speak of God’s word, the Holy Bible.

The Way of the LORD
 Ge 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
 Jg 2:22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it], or not.

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