Tag Archive | Who is….”Whosoever Will?”

God’s Sovereign Will

 

Many Bible verses are used to try to support the false freewill doctrine, but by rightly dividing the word of truth they all end up confirming God’s sovereignty that much more. Take 2Peter3:9 for instance.  It says, “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” At first glance, this seems to indicate that there are some in hell that God wanted to save but couldn’t. Yet, when read in context, it shows exactly who Peter was writing to…. the Elect”….”to them that have obtained like precious faith.“ (1Pet.1:2, 2 Pet.1:1).

The key to understanding many of these verses is to know the difference between God’s preceptive will of command and God’s decretive will of purpose. We can resist His precepts and commands by not obeying Him. Yet, even with this resistance, God must allow it, so we’re not really resisting sovereignly and absolutely——only indirectly. God’s will of purpose is what actually happens because it’s what God has ordained and decreed and it cannot be resisted or changed.     

According to Gods perceptive will of command, He naturally desires that all of His creatures obey His precepts for they are good and holy. His commands also show us how holy and good God is and how He is worthy to be worshipped. So anytime we go against His perfect precepts and commands, we are sinning against Him.  As God, He desires and deserves all of our worship and praise, because it’s all of creations duty to worship the Creator. This is why it’s right for God to command all to repent, believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, even though He knows all will not do this.

According to God’s decretive will of purpose, He foreknew what would happen when people would be left to themselves.  He foreknew that without His saving mercy, they’d refuse to keep His commands and reject Christ and the offer of salvation (Jn.12:39-40). This is why He could infallibly decree that they would not inherit salvation. He didn’t make them wicked and didn’t cause them to sin by leaving them to themselves. Neither does He predestine people to hell in the same sense that He predestines people to heaven, that would be “equal ultimacy,” which is a  heresy. He just foreknows that those He leaves to themselves will end up in hell due to the natural consequences of sin. He takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezek.18:23, 32; 33:11). And He does no harm to the creature by leaving them in the condition in which He originally made them—-upright (Eccl. 7:29), so that they are without excuse. And this is one way He makes His power known and one way He reveals how bad sin is. But He does all of this sinlessly and is justified in all that He does (Rom.1:20, 24, 28; 9:22).

God foreknows all things because He foreordains all things (Rom.11:36, Rev.4:11). He not only ordains the ends, but the means as to what will happen and how it will happen. Human actions are one of the means that God uses to accomplish His will. Our actions do not direct God’s will, but His will directs our actions. He doesn’t infuse evil into the wicked, He only directs the evil that was already in their hearts. For example, God prophesied to Moses that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart for His purpose of being glorified in the deliverance of Israel (Ex.4:21). This is why God could infallibly declare to Moses that Pharaoh would refuse to listen, because He was going to leave Pharaoh to his own sinful, fallen will (Ex.7:13, 22; 8:15; 9:12). And note: God could NOT have infallibly declared Pharaoh’s destiny if Pharaoh could have, by his own “free” will, repented and changed his own heart and mind (Rom.9:17).

God foreknew His people in a special way, for He elected them to be holy and blameless before time began (Eph.1:4). He also knows those who aren’t His elect, but only in a general way because He created them. “The Lord hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil” (Prov.16:4, Rom.9:17).  Hell and the wicked exist to reveal how terrible sin is.  Those who end up there are paying their own sin debt, which is impossible—-to show that sin is an eternal offense with eternal consequences. Hell also exists to show how incredibly merciful God is and how much Jesus suffered on behalf of His people in order to save them. 

So naturally, its God’s perceptive will of command that all repent, believe and BE SAVED (2Pet.3:9), because it’s our reasonable duty to our Maker. Yet, His decretive will of purpose chooses (for reasons unknown to us) not to exert His power TO SAVE all people. It’s as if God reserves His special, irresistible love only for those He’s elected to be in His own family. And He obviously set things up this way to show that it had nothing to do with us, but that “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). 

Contact Lee Anne @ gospel4life@live.com

 

The Authority of Scripture

Have you ever wondered what originated the rise and fall of every false religion in the world? The answer may surprise you, because it’s the single most common pitfall of the masses. It’s the “freewill” doctrine of man, which puts man in charge of his own salvation and when it’s taken to its logical conclusion; it ALWAYS shipwrecks faith in God’s word. Because if man’s will was absolutely free, the Bible message would be altered, for it would mean that God chose to have it written down by men that could have supposedly resisted His will.
But this is impossible, “For who hath resisted His will?” “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (Rom.9:19, 2Pet.1:21). God’s in control NOT man, for He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph.1:11). “Of His own will, begat He us with the word of truth” (Ja.1:18), which reveals the truth about creation, Christ’s Deity, His virgin birth, perfect life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension to save us from sin. And “Scripture cannot be broken” (Jn.10:35).
Yet, the freewill doctrine leads to believing it was altered because it was penned by flesh, which then leads to doubting Jesus Christ who came in the flesh (Jn.12:48). But Jesus said, ““It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63). “The Word was God”….”And the Word was made flesh” (Jn.1:1, 14). All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2Tim.3:16). “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Mt.24:35).
The freewill doctrine teaches that “God gives us a will that can reject Him, because He wants us to love Him willingly and freely.” But saints in heaven aren’t given a will that can reject Him and yet…. they TOTALLY love Him willingly and freely!! For its ONLY by being born again by the Holy Spirit, thru the merits of Christ, that we can truly love Him, NOT by an unregenerate will that loves sin (e.g. Rom.5:5).
The Garden of Eden scenario is also used to try to prove that God allowed sin to be offered so we’d have freewill and not be robots. But that’s like saying we’ll be robots in heaven, for God doesn’t allow sin there! Besides, mankind already had freedom of choice before sin was offered by the devil and they were NOT robots. First of all, the fear of being a robot for God is nothing more than complete rebellion, which shows that if left to our own fallen “free” will, we’d rather be a robot for the devil. Besides, “freewill” to choose sin is NOT true freedom at all, or else God wouldn’t be free, for He’s Holy and cannot choose to sin.
Ironically, the Garden scenario actually proves the freewill doctrine is a complete sham. In the sequence of events leading up to the Fall of mankind, three faculties of Eve’s soul were involved when she chose to eat forbidden fruit; her mind, heart and will….. IN THAT ORDER (Gen.3:1-6). The act of her will was preceded by the thoughts of her mind and the desires of her heart, proving that our will doesn’t determine our choices. The act of our will is preceded and determined by other factors, which are now tainted with sin. So our will no longer has the ability to choose God, unless the cleansing regeneration of the Holy Spirit brings our mind, heart and will into harmony with God’s will thru the merits of Jesus’ blood (Titus 3:5).
So remember friend, we can’t faithfully love God unless He intervenes in our lives with an irresistible love that breaks every barrier—-even the barrier of a fallen will that’s a slave to sin (Rom.6:20; 8:35-39). And once we’re saved we can’t brag that He saved us because we loved Him, for its “not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” We can only “love Him, because He first loved us” (1Jn.4:10, 19). “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil.2:13). So pray for His mercy today.

Lee Anne @ gospel4life@live.com

Is Your Heart Right With God?

 “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev.22:17). But who is —“whosoever will?” Is it those who have the strongest, natural “willpower?” No, because according to Scripture it’s not even the will that determines our choices, it’s the heart and it moves our will to act. So the condition of our heart determines whether we will come to Christ in truth or not (e.g. Psa.119:10, Prov.4:23, Acts 8:37, Rom.10:9-10).  

The problem is that since the Fall of mankind, “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer.17:9, Matt.15:18-19, Mk.7:18-23). Due to the extreme corruption that sin causes, just one sin in a lifetime is destructive enough to earn an eternity in hell (James 2:10). “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” which causes people to refuse to come to Christ. Therefore, the human will is not sovereign, but a servant to sin (Rom.3:23, 6:18-23; Jn.5:40).

Our will is free only in the sense that it’s free to choose according to our heart’s desire. And a truly godly choice for Christ cannot possibly come from an evil heart (Lk.6:45-46). So whether or not we do what Jesus says to do and come to Him in truth depends upon whether God has cleansed our hearts from the love of sin and filled it with love for Him, so we’ll be willing to “take the water of life freely” (Job 14:4, Psa.51:10, Prov.16:1, Ezek.36:26, Jn.3:27, 8:44, Phil.2:13).

Still, every person will be held responsible for how they respond to the gospel call, for its everyone’s duty to their Maker to repent, believe and receive Christ, whether they have heavens help or not. God doesn’t lower His standards just because our sin has caused us to fall short of His glory. That would be like a criminal going before a judge and making the excuse that he can’t help but break the law and the judge corrupting justice by letting the criminal go due to the criminal’s inability to abide by the law! 

The truth is that we all deserve hell and God could have chosen not to save any and still been righteous in His judgment. There will be no one in hell that doesn’t deserve to be there, because God has never and never will force anyone to sin. Even God’s act of reprobation causes no one to sin (Rom.1:28). As Scripture says, “God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions” (Eccl.7:29). 

Yet, God is merciful and He has revealed this to us at the cross, where His justice and mercy meet. God can pardon the vilest of sinners and still be righteous because Jesus Christ has purchased them, redeemed them and paid their sin debt in full. The gospel of Christ “is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Rom.1:16).

Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn.6:37). So come to Him today friend and taste His free grace. You don’t have to earn it because it’s free to all who truly believe with their whole heart that Christ Jesus is their Savior and their only hope in this life and for eternity. Don’t follow after those who try to come on their own terms or those who think they can bribe God with their own works, for the only way to take the water of life —-is freely.

Sis. Lee Anne—emails are always welcome at gospel4life@live.com

A False Gospel—called the “Water Gospel”

Many are believing what’s called Baptismal Regeneration, or the “water gospel,” (basically a “watered-down gospel”) where baptism is added as a requirement for salvation. But we must “try the spirits” behind this doctrine, as we’re commanded to do in 1John 4:1. And two signs of deceiving spirits are when “contradicting and blaspheming” of God’s word occur (Acts 13:45). For example, one may say it’s not our works that save us, but then turn around later and contradict themselves by saying faith and baptism are works we do to be saved.

I found another example recently in a “House to House” pamphlet (vol. 18) sent out by a local church. It claims the thief on the cross was saved without being baptized because he was still under the Mosaic Dispensation. Yet, their website contradicts this by claiming Jesus told Nicodemus (who was ironically also under the Mosaic Dispensation) that he must be born again by being water baptized (John 3:5). So we must ask, “Why the double standard?” Besides, baptism isn’t even mentioned here, which is embarrassingly ironic, for they claim to be “silent where Scripture is silent.” The context here and 1John 5:6-8, even make it obvious that Jesus was explaining the difference between natural and spiritual birth.

Scripture also reveals that saving faith is the means God uses to bring His sheep home. Even Mark 16:16 doesn’t say, “he who isn’t baptized will be damned,” but it does say, “he that doesn’t BELIEVE shall be damned.” Also in 1 Pet.3:20-21 Noah’s family was “saved by water” only in the sense that it was a figure of the true (Jesus Christ), for it symbolized His death, burial and resurrection, just as baptism does today. The water itself didn’t save, or else those outside the ark would’ve been saved. As Peter even says here, baptism itself can’t put away the filth of the flesh, for a symbol can’t purge a guilty conscience, it’s only an outward testimony of what’s already occurred inwardly. Baptism is a figure of the true, whereas faith is the substance (Heb.9:9, 14, 26; 11:1, 7).

Yet, promoting baptism as a requirement for salvation turns the one who “administers” the “requirement” into a human mediator, which is blasphemy. There’s only one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus (1Tim.2:5). Only He can administer what’s necessary for our salvation (saving faith), for He obtained it and all other spiritual blessings that accompany salvation (repentance, obedience, etc.), so that those who are His don’t try to add their own works to the sufficiency of His sacrifice (Rom.8:32, Eph.1:3, 4:8, Phil.4:19).

Still, many go to great lengths to exalt man and his works, such as twisting Acts 2:38 to mean we’re baptized “in order to get,” remission of sins, rather than baptized “because” believers sins have already been remitted by the shedding of Jesus’ blood (Heb.9:22). Common sense even tells us that one doesn’t take medicine FOR a headache “in order to get” a headache. One takes medicine FOR a headache “because” they’ve already got one!

 Matt.3:11 uses the same Greek word in connection with baptism, as Acts 2:38. And clearly it can’t mean “in order to get” repentance, for John told the Pharisees they had to first “produce fruits worthy of repentance” like the Ethiopian, Saul, Cornelius, his family and thousands of others did in Acts, AFTER God had purified their hearts by faith (Acts 15:8-9), BEFORE they were baptized. Yet, if these verses meant baptism “obtains” remission of sins and repentance, then one would have to confess, no one needed that more than the Pharisees, yet John refused to baptize them! To be consistent with the “water gospel,” one would also have to confess that the Israelites were baptized “in order to get” Moses to be their leader, rather than “because” he’d already led them out of Egypt, for the same Greek preposition is used in conjunction with baptism in 1 Cor.10:2.

There are many more infallible, biblical proofs that Baptismal Regeneration is a false gospel, but may have to be covered in upcoming articles. Until then, just remember friend, Jesus didn’t shed His blood in vain. True believers don’t feel they have to make His blood effectual by doing something, for they simply trust that His blood atonement is effectual for those it was intended for, based on the effectual working of HIS power, not theirs (2Cor.4:7, Eph.3:7; Heb.13:12, 20, 21).

Sis Lee Anne—-readers with questions or comments are free to contact me at gospel4life@live.com

Therapy or Theology?

In the last article we seen how Scripture proves God is sovereign in all things, including suffering. We also touched a little on the deistic view of suffering. Yet, we need to take a closer look into deism, for it’s the view of the whole world, which lies in wickedness (1Jn.5:19).  It attempts to put man or “mother nature” in charge and portrays God as a helpless bystander. But Scripture clearly shows that God’s hands are not tied by His laws of nature or even by the so-called “freewill” of man (e.g. Dan.4:35, Eph1:21).

For example, Jonah wasn’t willing to do what God called him to do. Far from it, Jonah tried to run from God and found out that he couldn’t. Why? ….because God always catches up with His own. He never leaves them to themselves, but seeks them and rescues them, which is why God prepared the fish to swallow Jonah and spew him out on land again. God knows how to incline His people to be willing to obey! His hands are NOT tied!!

Even in Ezekiel 2:1-2 we see that God grants His people what He commands, for He knows we’re helpless. Yet, the motto of deism is “God helps those who help themselves,” when Scripture clearly shows the opposite. God helps those who CAN’T help themselves (e.g. Isa.64:6, Lk.18:10-14).  Sin has so corrupted our nature, we must be born again by the Holy Spirit, Who alone can quicken us from being dead in sin and make us alive in Christ (Eph2:1-10).

Much of our suffering (even as Christians) is due to the sin that dwells in the flesh. Many times even depression begins with sin (worry, impatience, doubting God, believing the devils lies), not low self-esteem. Yet, therapeutic deism turns people to therapy, rather than to God for mercy. A Savior can never be truly treasured as long as one thinks they’re basic “goodness” can attain salvation. When in reality the only part we play in salvation is the sinning. God does all the saving and He does it effectually and completely, leaving none of it to us, because “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” “For when we were yet WITHOUT STRENGTH in due time Christ died for the ungodly”(Rom.3:10-12, 5:6). 

Deism is a self-help religion that downplays how terrible sin is and labors to boost self-esteem. But 2 Tim.3:2 shows us that’s the last thing we need. We already love ourselves too much! We’re naturally selfish and every other bad thing. So our greatest need is to have a Savior Who can cover our sins, reconcile us to God and love us more than we could ever love ourselves. We need the blessed assurance that we’re saved from the eternal damnation our sins deserve.

Deism also idolizes the mind by claiming the gospel can be grasped by natural reason, rather than supernatural revelation by God. But “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Cor.2:14). So the only “freewill” the natural mind has is “freedom” from righteousness, for “when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness” (Rom.6:20). But God never leaves His people to their own fallen “freewill,” but opens their understanding and grants them repentance so they CAN recover themselves from the snare of the devil (2Tim.2:25-26). 

So friend, “if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (Jn.8:36). Jesus even delivered someone possessed by a legion of demons, not due to an ability to choose Him with their natural mind, because it wasn’t until AFTER Jesus delivered him that he was even in his right mind to follow Jesus (Mk.5:15). So take comfort fellow-sufferer, one can even be out of their mind and still be saved and delivered by God, who gives the spirit of a sound mind (2Tim1:7) ….because nothing is impossible for God. Sis. Lee Anne—e-mails welcome at gospel4life@live.com

God’s Sovereignty

Many think that if they’re seeking what only God can provide, they must be seeking God. But Jesus told a multitude that they were only seeking Him for His earthly benefits, not for the heavenly miracles that proved His Deity.  In other words, they weren’t really seeking God. And Jesus explained why by saying, “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him” (John 6:26, 44, 66).

 Jesus’ words were so offensive, many walked away.  Because like today, many admit God is sovereign over nations and temporal life, but they can’t handle the fact that God is sovereign over all things, including eternal life.  They’d rather make up a god they’re more comfortable with, because “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” which is why “it’s not in man that walketh to direct his own steps” (Jer.10:23, 17:9).

So why does God command us to seek Him and proclaim the gospel? Since only God changes hearts and draws sinners to Jesus to be saved, why should we take action at all?  Obviously, the answer is simple. He commands us to.  For He already knows that although some won’t obey in spirit and truth, some will.  Just as God commanded light to shine out of darkness (Gen.1), everything didn’t become light, but what God ordained to be light, obeyed His command. That’s why there’s a universal call of the gospel but not a universal redemption, “for many be called, but few chosen” (Matt.20:16, Acts 13:48).

Although fallen humanity has the “light of conscience” and the “light of creation” to prompt them to an outward performance of God’s commands, they can’t seek Jesus from a pure heart unless God commands the “light of the gospel” to shine into their hearts.  A mere outward response isn’t the deciding factor, God is. In fact, God’s sovereignty in salvation is so obvious that Jesus recaps this point in John 6:65 by saying “No man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of the Father.”

Yet many are believing what’s called “decisional regeneration,” where trust is placed in a “decision for Christ” rather than Holy Spirit regeneration, where the Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we’re His (Tit.3:5, Rom.8:16). For believers “have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (2Cor.4:3-7), because those who receive God’s free gift aren’t those with more “willpower” but those whom God has given the power to become His (John 1:12, 13).  “For it is not of man who wills or runs, but of God who shows mercy” (Rom.9:16). 

“For who maketh thee to differ from another” (1Cor.4:7)? Are Christians different because they’re better than others?  Are they able to receive, repent, believe and obey the gospel due to having more common grace of character, conviction, morality, or ability to choose the things of God? Absolutely not! Or else they wouldn’t need a Savior and could do without God’s sovereign saving grace.

So dear friend, although many turn away from such a sovereign God, you don’t have to become a statistic. And you don’t have to try to be better than others.  Just cry out to God for mercy, confessing your desperate need of a Savior.  He never turns away those who are truly brokenhearted over sin (Ps.51:17), for He sent Jesus to seek and save an endless multitude of people who are poor in spirit.  So be encouraged, no one is closer to God’s free grace than when they finally realize the poverty of their own sinfulness and powerlessness compared to God’s sovereign, majestic holiness.

Sis Lee Anne—-Readers with questions or comments are free to contact me at gospel4life@live.com

Discernment Column (article 2)

“as we have received mercy……..

we faint not, but have renounced ….

 the hidden things of                                       dishonesty”    2Cor.4:1,2                                               

Theological Thoughts 

Biblical theology: anhonest understanding of God based upon His Word, revealed by the Holy Spirit to those who are His

Occult means hidden; dishonest views of God, based on metaphysics, revealed by “spirit guides” to those who are “enlightened”

Yoga: defined as a “yoking” or “union;” an occult catalyst for unequally yoking and uniting with Christianity

     Today theological thoughts are being distorted by “New Thought,” a movement that mixes occult concepts with Christian terminology, to try to infiltrate and corrupt Christianity from within, rather than direct opposition. We see this with yoga meditation slipping into many evangelical churches under the guise of “Soaking Prayer,” where the subconscious mind is “soaked” in repetitive music or “Word” mantras in order to “connect” to God.  Like yoga, this practice induces a mild trance that subtly dulls reasoning abilities so “new thoughts” can be implanted.  Perhaps this is one reason Jesus commands in Matt.6:7 not to use vain repetitions in prayer as the heathen do.  For “tapping into God” subconsciously, undermines actually knowing God thru His Word and consciously communing with Him in worship and biblical prayer (humble, sincere appeals and requests, with thanksgiving) Phil.4:6. In fact, these mystical man-mediated “connections” to God shipwrecks faith in Christ-mediated reconciliation with God.  

     A move away from the moral to the mystical always presents another way to God that dilutes the fact that only Jesus’ blood can make us near Eph.2:13, and that God is near all who call upon Him in truth Ps.145:18.  For the “connection” mystics seek is not in truth, but in error, seeking to be “as God,” as an actual possessor of His divine nature, despite the fact that God says He will not give His glory to another Isa.42:8. Yet, those who are saved reflect His glory and are partakers of the divine nature by His gift of grace thru faith in Jesus 2Pet.1:4. For His grace is sufficient to draw us to Him without occult techniques that cause altered states of consciousness and spiritual bondage, or else Christ died in vain Gal.2:21.

     The same old lie in the Garden of Eden that seemed good with the promise to “be as gods” is still alive today disguised as a new thought, for in this regard “there is no new thing under the sun” Eccl.1:9. We still reap what we sow, despite good intentions and its still forbidden fruit to mix mercy with merit, grace with works, or truth with error.  So dear friend, ask God to grant you love for the truth, so that you may be saved 2Thess.2:10 and given the grace needed to renounce the hidden things of dishonesty.                      Sister Lee Anne —–