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Monday, March 19, 2007


Do you agree with these two passages of scripture to be true or not?

Isaiah 55:11, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." KJV

Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." KJV

Question: Do you agree that God's word is powerful? Do you believe that God carries out his word and means what he says? Then why the controversy over…

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Blogger B. W. Melvin said...


The previous statement was in response to someone’s question regarding predestination. For the readers benefit, I will post the response from an ardent Calvinist. Let me say that I respect Calvinism as well as the Armenian points of view on the controversy regarding predestination / free will. However, both sides miss a central truth and end up in endless arguments to no avail. May this post help bring healing and understanding to both sides.

Mr. Puritan’s Response: Absolutely. Do you?

Author’s Reply: Yes, in fact you may find that we have more in common than you perceive.

Mr. Puritan’s Response: Let me ask you this way. Based on the Scriptures you just quoted. What if someone hears the Word of God, rejects it, and ends up in Hell? Are these verses still true? Has the Word "accomplished that which I please, and prospered in the thing whereto I sent it"?

Author’s Reply: Good point, now allow me to explain.

I think it is ironic that the bible says in Act 17:30, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” KJV

That Jesus himself told Paul:

Act 26:18, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” KJV

That Jesus said in

Mark1:15, “The time has been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God draws near. Repent and believe in the gospel.” LITV

Amazing that God left this example for us:

Deuteronomy 30:1-2 "I have now given you a choice between a blessing and a curse. When all these things have happened to you, and you are living among the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you, you will remember the choice I gave you. 2 If you and your descendants will turn back to the LORD and with all your heart obey his commands that I am giving you today, 3 then the LORD your God will have mercy on you. He will bring you back from the nations where he has scattered you, and he will make you prosperous again.’ GNB

Deuteronomy 30:11-15 "The command that I am giving you today is not too difficult or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in the sky. You do not have to ask, 'Who will go up and bring it down for us, so that we can hear it and obey it?' 13 Nor is it on the other side of the ocean. You do not have to ask, 'Who will go across the ocean and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and obey it?' 14 No, it is here with you. You know it and can quote it, so now obey it. 15 "Today I am giving you a choice between good and evil, between life and death.16 If you obey the commands of the LORD your God, which I give you today, if you love him, obey him, and keep all his laws, then you will prosper and become a nation of many people. The LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are about to occupy. 17 But if you disobey and refuse to listen, and are led away to worship other gods, 18 you will be destroyed---I warn you here and now. You will not live long in that land across the Jordan that you are about to occupy. 19 I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God's blessing and God's curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life. 20 Love the LORD your God, obey him and be faithful to him, and then you and your descendants will live long in the land that he promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." GNB

Again Psalms 119 within its entirety this long Psalms expresses how God’s word works So for quick reference note Psalms 119:9-16, Psalms 119:130-133 on your own.

It is simple; God’s word is the catalyst for election. God designed his word to have more than just one linear singular effect. God’s word sent – divides. It divides by producing choice...

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Monday, 12 March, 2007  
Blogger B. W. Melvin said...

You asked:

Mr. Puritan’s Asked: Let me ask you this way. Based on the Scriptures you just quoted. What if someone hears the Word of God, rejects it, and ends up in Hell? Are these verses still true? Has the Word "accomplished that which I please, and prospered in the thing whereto I sent it"?

Author's Reply: How can this be so? – answer: by the power of God’s word that will either soften one to return to God are harden ones heart to reject God: Same word spoken will have this either or effect on the hearer.

Too bad Christian Hard determinism deny that God’s word has such power as too give people a choice when there was none before. Too deny that God’s word divides – the thoughts and intents of the heart by confronting one to repent, choose, well to put it bluntly, mocks God. The purpose of God’s word is it not to tear asunder the thoughts and intent of the heart?

Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." KJV

That very word that God is faithful to perform is Confrontational. His word Challenges you and I with a choice. How can repentance truly be repentance if God denies his very words calling for a choice to be made to either choose God or reject God? How can you change your ways unless you heard that this was even remotely possible? God does not say in singular fashion, “You there, will repent and you over there are damned for hell because I desire it so:” note Ezekiel 33:11. Instead God calls to all people everywhere – repent.

How can repentance be made possible for puppets shackled to dominating outside control? How can God really be who he is and remain as he is, unchanging in goodness, justice, fairness, righteousness, judgment, free of all iniquity, and be truly sovereign unless he made choice known and possible by his word?

Isaiah 55:11, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." KJV

God’s word produces an effect on the heart – it will either harden or soften as that is his will: confront, test, the heart to see who seeks God, who will return to God, who will remain faithful to God. Yes, God foreknows the answers predestines according to the results that his word will have as God knows all things. Even though God knows all, amazing that God still ask all people to either accept him or reject him in many diverse ways. God’s word makes the choice to respond possible, this proves what about God?

Christian Hard Determinism denies God’s word has that kind of power: the power to produce a choice, even in spite of the abundance of scripture evidence that reveal this as true. In this is how God righteously judges everyone and holds us all to account. If God did not offer up his word – then there could never be any whosoever’s that believe, no offer of repentance, no acceptance of the gospel message possible at all.

Instead Christian Hard Determinism hides behind the wrong image and likeness of God, paints the wrong portrait of predestination by pet brush strokes of dogmatic scripture quotes, along with plentiful colorful strokes of word meanings, and thus continues staining the nature and character of God himself.

God already knows the result that his word will have on a person, yet, God is so absolutely kind, absolutely fair, absolutely pure, absolutely righteous, absolutely just, that he sends his word to produce an effect on the heart of autonomous being like us so that we can choose because his word grants us this ability, involves a wisdom and sovereignty way beyond human intellect can fully fathom. Isaiah 55:8-9 tells of this fact in direct context of the power of God’s word.

Yet, Christian Hard Determinism brashly tells all, they have this all figured out! They yell out that God’s word cannot produce a choice as choice is human work! They yell and rant so much that they cannot hear what is being said and misjudge what God’s word is pleading with them to do. It makes you wonder if they have chosen their own intellectual wranglings over the power of God’s word and even over God’s very intelligence!

Let me put it plainly for all – choice is a work of God. We have his word on his offer plain and simple. That choice confronts us – it is a gift of God freely and graciously given. It has an ‘intended dual effect.’

No matter how God speaks, He can say, “let my people go, or repent, or Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life,” it will have an all powerful effect to either soften the hearers heart to return to God or harden the hearers heart to reject God. A person’s life’s course and actions will bear testimony of their answer and these God uses as he will.

Do not be surprised how God uses those he foreknows: as there is no unrighteousness with God. How can this be? He still offers – confronts with his word - everyone.

A double edged sword has two effects, sides that are designed to cut into the heart of the matter; thus, the sin remains the creatures own – not God’s. God already knows the result and can do with us as he wills as he foreknows and remains pure by the offer of this grace that warns, teaches, and instructs, Titus 2:11-15.

What effect does God’s word have on you?

That is what I stand on – God’s word on this matter and not Christian Hard Determinism or the Puritan fathers: God’s word that divides and sorts out what is in one's the heart. It is time to determine who we are faithful too: God or man.

Even in the Garden of Eden God ordained choice before humanity through his very words, as it is true – he knoweth the thought and intents of the human heart that it needs to be exposed to find out who it will serve in the most profoundly absolutely kind, absolutely fair, absolutely pure, absolutely righteous, absolutely just, absolutely patient, absolutely loving, with absolute justice, and absolute gentleness proving that God is really who he is and worthy to know and return too.

Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” KJV

Two choices lain bare before Adam: God’s word had that dual effect of finding out what was in the heart of Adam and Eve. God test the heart, profoundly without injustice to God's nature and character and also without injustice towards man: a creature with intelligence and the God given ability to use it, Genesis 1:26-31.

You see, it is a shame that the devout Christian Hard Determinist refuses to see and hear and understand who God is and is about and thus continues to propagate a doctrine bent on the ruination of God’s divine nature - 2 Peter 1: 3-1 - amongst many hearers.

Act 17:30, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” KJV

Proverbs 16:20, “He that giveth heed unto the word shall find good; and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.” JPS

Funny that God tells us that he who heeds the word shall find good. If the word does not have this effect and does not produce a choice, then how can God truly hold us to account and is able to sentence anyone to hell, justly, righteously, most perfectly? Those that reject, not heed, God’s word - their fate is sealed justly, righteously, and most perfectly!

PL, the entire bible teaches this concept. I can go on and post a 10 page discourse with tons of scripture proof text as well as the empirical evidence that you and anyone else can use that proves that God’s word has that dual effect, that dividing effect, that the word God sends shall prosper and accomplish the thing God sent it for: soften or harden the autonomous minded soul.

It is God’s word that Elects the elect, just as God intended it in his design. God’s word makes choice possible – it is that simple you have God’s own words on it:

Deuteronomy 11:26-28, "Today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse--- 27 a blessing, if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28 but a curse, if you disobey these commands and turn away to worship other gods that you have never worshiped before.” GNB

John 3:16-21, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.18 Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God's only Son. 19 This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. 20 Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up.21 But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.” GNB

Romans 10:15, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.."

Monday, 12 March, 2007  
Blogger B. W. Melvin said...

Mr. Puritan’s Response: B.W., Of course the Word is the catalyst for election. It is also the catalyst for damnation. In both case, God's purpose is fulfilled.

As I wrote earlier, when you come up with an argument that I haven't already addresses numerous times, we'll continue.

Author’s Reply: That was my whole point: The Word of God is the catalyst for election! By jove I think you got it!! All I did was to explore it in more detail and maybe you could re-read my position again in that light: God's word has an effect - check out the post on the Theology thread about God's word for more in sights...
Mr. Puritan’s Response: A little consistency would help me "get it"

You started out our entire debate by defending 4 out of the 5 points of Arminianism in an effort to "resolve this issue".

But now, yes, I finally "got it”

Author’s Reply: I guess the difference could be summed up as – one viewpoint of God seeing as ‘God Innocent Almighty’ and another viewpoint of seeing ‘God as only as Almighty.’

Both contain absolute truths about God. The one I attempted to show is how blameless, pure, irreproachable God is, just as the bible reveals him to be. I tried to describe how God can be this way by using the standards that the bible uses to describe God.

You can say that when one only sees God as only as Almighty, a person can miss seeing how blameless, pure, irreproachable God really is and thus many scriptures just do not line up with what the bible says about God’s nature and character, i.e. name as well as the effect his word has, etc. This fuels the fire of doubt in many people and feeds wrong ideas about God.

My prayer is for the reader to learn of the Lord and to learn to know God by asking and seeking God through praying in the manner of asking questions such as this, “your word says you are blameless Lord – how can this be when this or that happened…show me, You, how are you blameless and righteous, etc, as your word describes you to be - help me see and understand your wisdom in this..."

By doing so, you learn to grow in the knowledge of the Lord and really find out what eternal life is about. Sometimes you will wrestle with the Lord a bit seeking this blessing of eternal life [knowing the Lord] and in doing so, the seat of your power will be dismantled and God's throne established forever in your heart.

John 3:16

John 17:3

John 17:17

Monday, 12 March, 2007  
Blogger B. W. Melvin said...

New Post from Author B. W. Melvin:

God is neither a hard determinist nor a soft determinist. God is nevertheless is still a determinist but he is neither soft nor hard in his determining. For many of you this may sound like a contradiction but there is no contradiction in my statement here.

Hard determinism leads to an absence of moral responsibility as everything, all action, words, and deeds were caused by a power greater than oneself. This negates moral accountability to humanity and angels as God would be the cause of all rebellion, sin, pride, etc, thus creating a world of victims rather than perpetrators.

This is where Christian hard determinism leads. You cannot escape it. It leads there in its assertions as well as its out of context bible references used to support the idea that God is a hard determinist who governs the universe using the precepts of hard determinism. There can be no accountability for sin as it was forced upon one.

The Christian hard determinist, by making God a hard determinist, makes God out as an amoral God who does his whim based of whatever pleases him to do. “If he damns you, so be it, he damns and you had nothing to do with it so accept it,” we are told by the Christian hard determinist. While the bible does reveal that God does whatever it pleases him, this is taken out of context and interpreted in error to prove God a hard determinist.

For example, for the Christian hard determinist, God will never change his mind, yet they declare he can do whatever it pleases him. Therefore, if it pleased God to change his mind, he could not do so but yet still do as he pleases. How can God do whatever he pleases if he cannot change his mind? There is a contradiction there. Thank you Hezekiah for your testimony!

Another contradiction is the Christian hard determinist’s prayer that shouts, “God please elect some more!” How can God elect more unless he changes his mind to do so as he had already determined who is elected?

When the bible speaks of God being unchanging it is in reference to his nature and character and who he is. When God ‘sets’ his mind to do something, nothing can stop it. Due to God being God, nothing can change his will [nature, character] or plans [purposes]. This is a far cry from hard determinism. It is determinism nevertheless but it is not hard determinism.

God is not a hard determinist for to be so would make God morally irresponsible. The bible teaches that there is no unrighteousness with God and that far be it that God does iniquity and injustice, Job 34:10-16. That is not hard determinism.

God the Determinist

God is a determinist nevertheless. He governs the universe and acts in accord to who he is. His actions and deeds are determined by his own standards and morals. This makes God accountable to himself. These are discovered in how he chose to reveal himself as recorded in the bible. He is righteous, just, loving, kind, jealous merciful, good, fair, he does what is right, he holds one accountable for his/her deeds, etc and etc.

God glorifies himself in this by proving that he is all that he says he is that he acts according to a superior wisdom and knowledge incomprehensible to the mortal mind. This means that God changes not, he is constant, he will never do injustice and that he will always be just, even when determining recompense.

That is his will. His character and nature as revealed in the bible revel what his will is. Be not unwise but learn what the good and perfect will of God is. This is discovered by study of the names used to describe God as well as those passages that reveal his attributes such as Job 34:10-16. God acts in accord to his perfect and immutable will. Be thankful he changes not. Be thankful as that is how he determines the time, places, and years of our lives. Be thankful as that is how he guides us and leads us and elects. He does no injustice.

It takes moral responsibility to govern the universe. Without it, amoral whims would destroy it unethically and unjustly. I praise God that God governs with his profound moral responsibility or we would never be part of this – his glory.

Christian Hard Determinism does not lead to moral responsibility, nor can it honestly teach it, because one cannot learn if made an automaton. Such dark unbending unjust accusations paint a portrait of the Lord which stains his great and powerful name, character, and his very attributes.

We need to move on and to look at what the bible reveals about God through study of his name, character, and attributes in his might word. It is there where we will discover that predestination is nothing more than God following a plan which leads to Revelation 21:1-4

Monday, 12 March, 2007  

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