Daily Bible Nugget #354, Ephesians 1:11

The Nugget:

Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

My Comment:

One of the amazing things about the Bible is just how much information is packed into a single sentence, or, as here, a part of a sentence. Sometimes Paul wrote quite long sentences, as here. This verse, too, makes a statement about the seventh of over forty attributes of God on my list, the Sovereignty of God.

I just lately read a book by Palmer on the Five Points of Calvinism. I noticed especially how he linked the doctrine of the sovereignty of God to his exposition of those points. If Palmer’s exposition of those Five Points is representative of the Reformed doctrine of Scripture, it surely demonstrates both how and why theologians of this school of thought place such an emphasis upon the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.

Clearly the Bible declares God is sovereign. But the Bible does not contain the kind of emphasis and prominence given to the doctrine of Sovereignty by many Calvinists. The same thing is true of the doctrine of Predestination. The Bible declares the wonderful and gracious truth that God has predestinated us to be conformed to the character of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible nowhere declares that anyone is irrevocably or irretrievably predestined to eternal punishment in hell even before they were ever born!

Try studying Ephesians 1:11 by means of the cross references I have furnished below. Consider also the explanatory notes I have given for other parts of the verse, solidly backed by Scripture.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1358 for Ephesians 1:11.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on pages 1377-1378 or in Logos 5 or 6 Bible software for Ephesians 1:11.

(3) Consult the cross references given in the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 137 of the NT or on line at www.blueletterbible.org for Ephesians 1:11.

(3) Most people today do not have access to those three print resources, so I have posted cross references for this passage as I have developed them even more completely for your study as given below:

Ephesians 1:11. obtained an inheritance. Gr. eklērōthēmen, *S#2820g, only here. See related word, prosklēroō, Ac 17:4 (consorted). From klēroō, to assign by lot, to make a heritage. See +*Jsh 14:2n. **Ezk 45:1. Care must be taken not to spiritualize this inheritance. In Scripture there is but one inheritance, promised to Abraham, not yet accomplished (+*Ac 7:5), but certain of fulfillment, being confirmed by an oath (Ge 15:8-18. Mic 7:20. He 6:13, 18), whereby Jesus Christ the Messiah (Zc 14:4, 9), and Abraham personally upon resurrection (+*Mt 8:11, 12) through Him, together with we the saints as co-heirs and co-inheritors (Ro 8:17) of the same promise given in the Abrahamic covenant (Ro 4:11, 12, +*Ro 4:13), shall inherit the land forever (**Da 7:14. **Lk 1:32, 33. 1 Cor 15:24n. **Re 11:15), not some ethereal mansion (+*Jn 14:2, 3) in the third heaven (2 Cor 12:2), as the following reference passages abundantly confirm. ver. *+Ep 1:14, 18. **Ep 5:5. Le 25:23. =Nu 18:20. Dt 4:20. =Dt 10:9. *Dt 32:9. 1 S 2:8. +*Ps 37:18. 68:16. **Ps 69:35, 36. +*Ps 94:14. 106:5. **Ps 132:11-14. =Song 2:16. Is 8:8. *Is 60:21. +*Ezk 38:16. =Ezk 44:28. Joel 2:18. +**Mt 5:5. +*Mt 25:34. Jn 1:11. Ac 7:5n. +*Ac 20:32. +*Ac 26:18. *Ro 8:17. **Ga 3:16-18. *Col 1:12. *Col 3:24. *Titus 3:7. He 1:14. 9:15. +*James 2:5. **1 P 1:4. *1 P 3:9. being predestinated. See on ver. Ep 1:5. Lk 22:29. +*Ro 8:29, +Ro 8:30. 1 Th 2:12. according to. *Ep 3:11. +*Dt 2:30. +*Ps 115:3. +*Pr 21:1. +Is 14:27. 46:10, 11. *+Ro 8:28. +*Ro 9:18. *2 Tim 1:9. Re 4:11. the purpose. Gr. prothesis [S#4286g: Rendered (1) purpose: Ac 11:23. 27:13. Ro 8:28. 9:11. Ep 1:11. 3:11. 2 T 1:9. 2 T 3:10. (2) shewbread: Mt 12:4. Mk 2:26. Lk 6:4. He 9:2]. See on ver. Ep 1:9. Ep 3:11. 1 S 12:22. 2 Ch 25:16. Jb 9:12. Is 23:9. Je 4:28. 25:28. Lk 12:32. Ro 8:28. 9:11. +*2 Tim 1:9. who worketh. Gr. energeō (S#1754g, Mt 14:2). ver. Ep 1:20g. Ep 2:2. Ec 9:11. *Is 43:13. *La 3:37. +Mt 14:2. Ro 7:5. 1 Cor 12:6. all things. T#260. +Dt 2:30 (T#267). +1 S 2:7 (T#3). +2 S 7:14 (T#265). *1 Ch 29:12. +2 Ch 18:31 (T#264). Jb 33:29. 42:2. *Ps 135:6, 7. 147:8, 9, 15-18. *Pr 16:33. Is 26:12. +*Is 45:7. Je 10:13. +Da 1:9 (T#266). +*Am 3:6. *Mt 10:29, 30. Ac 15:18. +*Ro 8:28. 11:36. 1 Cor 12:6. *Phil 2:13. *He 13:20, 21. the counsel. Gr. boulē (S#1012g, Lk 7:30). See on ver. Ep 1:8. Jb 12:13. 36:23. *Ps 33:11. Pr 8:14. 19:21. Is 5:19. 9:6. 25:1. 28:29. 40:13, 14. **Is 46:10-13. Je 23:18. 32:19. 49:20. 50:45. Da 4:35. Zc 6:13. Mt 1:19g. *Lk 7:30. 10:21. Ac 2:23. 4:28. *+Ac 20:27. *Ro 11:34. Col 2:3. He 6:17. 1 J 2:1. Re 3:18. his own will. God the Father is sovereign. Ps 24:1. 115:3. Ec 7:13. Is 45:9. Da 4:25, 35. 11:3. Jon 1:14. Mt 11:26. 20:15. +*Mt 28:19n. Lk 4:25. +*Ro 9:18 (T#234). 1 Cor 12:11. Ga 1:4. *Phil 2:13. Re 4:11.

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Three Questions

As I write this post, today is Easter Sunday morning.

Some faith groups strenuously object to the term “Easter.” It is true, as they object, that the term “Easter” does not occur in the original language (Greek) of our Bible. It does occur in the English of the King James Version at Acts 12:4.

But when you wish or need to check out the validity of any faith group, I have three questions which most innocently will ferret out falsehood in a hurry, whether in your own chosen faith group, or the faith group of someone who may come to your door.

Here are the questions:

(1) Why did Jesus come?

(2) What is the central focus of the witness given by the apostles and disciples? That is, to what did they give witness?

(3) What is the Bible definition of resurrection?

If the “witness” who comes to your door cannot immediately from his or her knowledge of the Bible come up with a Bible verse or verses which directly answer these three questions you will know:

(1) They do not know their Bible well.
(2) Their faith group does not match in its emphasis the emphasis or balance of truth set forth in the Bible.
(3) The faith group in question may well be a false cult if it denies any of the truths pointed to by these three questions.

If you yourself cannot answer these three questions, here are the Biblical answers to them.

(1) Why did Jesus come? Jesus himself said he came to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10).

What are the ramifications of this question and answer? If your focus is not upon seeking out and bringing to salvation those who are lost, then your emphasis does not match what Jesus stated was his purpose!

Without question, this is the area which is most lacking in the lives of individual Christians today as well as their churches. We who truly believe in Christ need to be actively engaged in reaching the lost for Christ.

How can we do this? We must utterly forsake the mistaken notion that reaching the lost is the job of the pastor, not us!

We must learn to share our faith with others.

This can be done by praying personally for those we know who are unsaved. This can be done by sharing the Scripture, the Bible, in the form of printed material written for that purpose, such as a Gospel tract or pamphlet. It can be done by encouraging spiritually hungry individuals to read the Bible for themselves. It can be done through your own verbal testimony to others of how your faith in Christ has brought you to a knowledge and certainty of your own salvation. You can readily share what Christ means to you and how He has changed your life. You can invite others to join you in the study of the Bible. If they see you are excited about the Bible, they will have reason to learn to share your interest.

If these things do not mark what is going on in your spiritual walk and experience, then you may need to pray to ask God’s guidance about how God can make these things a real part of your daily Christian life. There is a Gospel hymn with words something like “Lead me to some soul today, teach me, Lord, just what to say.” Study that hymn for more insight.

(2) What is the central focus of the witness given by the apostles and disciples? That is, to what did they give witness?

This most important question has a most important answer. The Biblical answer is found in Acts 2:32, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.”

THAT is what is to be the subject of our witness to Christ: God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Any faith group which fails to witness steadfastly to the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) is not proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ as contained in our New Testament!

Study carefully the cross references given for Acts 2:24 as I share them immediately below. Many reference Bibles provide a similar set of cross references at this verse. Notice particularly the references for the keywords hath raised. These numerous references clearly show the emphasis of the New Testament witness to the resurrection of Christ throughout the whole New Testament.

Acts 2:24. Whom God. Here Christ’s resurrection is ascribed to God the Father; in John 10:18 it is ascribed to Christ himself, while in Ro 8:11 it is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Thus we have the Trinity acting in unity in the resurrection of Christ. ver. *Ac 2:32. Ac 3:13. 4:10. Ge 45:5. Jn 5:19. **Jn 10:18. Ro 3:25. 4:24. *Ro 6:4. *Ro 8:11. hath raised. Notice the single, consistent note present in all their witness: the bodily resurrection of Christ. Any religious faith which claims to be Biblical must share the same balance and emphasis the Bible itself contains (+*Is 43:10n. +*Jn 16:13n). ver. Ac 2:32. Ac 3:15, 26. 4:10, 33. 5:30. 10:40, 41. *Ac 13:30, 32, 33, 34, 37. **Ac 17:30, 31. 26:23. Ps 40:2. =Ps 105:20. Mt 17:23. 27:63. Mk 9:31. Lk ch. *24. Lk 24:3, 5, 6, 15, 25, 26, 39, 40. +*Jn 2:19-22. *Jn 10:17, 18. 20:9. Ro 1:4. 4:24, 25. *Ro 6:4, 9. *Ro 8:11, 34. **Ro 10:9. 14:9. *1 Cor 6:14. 15:4, 12, 13, 14, 15. *2 Cor 4:14. Ga 1:1. Ep 1:20. 2:5. Col 2:12. 1 Th 1:10. 2 Tim 2:8. *He 13:20. *1 P 1:21. loosed. Jb 39:2. Ps 69:15. 71:20. *Ps 116:3, 4, 16. 142:7. Is 49:8. pains. or, birth-pangs. Gr. ōdin (S#5604g, +Mt 24:8). Ps 116:3 (LXX, sorrows). +Mt 24:8. Mk 13:8. 1 Th 5:3. of death. +*Mt 24:8g. 2 S 22:6. Ps 18:5. 116:3. Col 1:18. because. Lk 24:5. **Jn 10:18. 20:9. 2 Tim 1:10. He 2:14. Re 1:17, 18. not possible. Ac 1:16. *Is 25:8. +*Is 26:19n. Is 53:10. *Ho 13:14. *Lk 24:5, 6, 46. *Jn 10:35. 12:39. Col 2:15. *He 2:14. *Re 1:18. be holden. Ac 12:7. Jn 20:23g (retain). Ro 6:9. Col 2:15.

(3) What is the Bible definition of resurrection?

A careful study of the Bible demonstrates that the only resurrection known to Scripture is bodily resurrection. What is it the disciples were looking for when they went very early to the tomb of Christ on that resurrection morning? (Luke 24:1). Clearly they went to anoint His body. But when they got there, what was missing? Clearly, His body (Luke 24:3). When Jesus Christ appeared before them, notice how he most carefully demonstrated that it was He Himself in His own body that stood or sat before them, and ate before them (Luke 24:36, 37, 39, 40). He asked for food, and ate before them (Luke 24:41, 42, 43).

This corresponds precisely to what Jesus famously predicted as recorded in John 2:19, 21, 22. Jesus predicted that though the Jews and Roman authorities would destroy “this temple,” a rare but very strong Greek grammatical construction which must be understood as referring to Himself, that in three days He would raise it–His body–up. John adds his witness to the fact of bodily resurrection when he writes “But he spake of the temple of his body” (John 2:21).

Souls and spirits cannot and do not die physically, only physical bodies die. Resurrection cannot, therefore, apply to spirits or souls, but always has reference to physical bodies. Those who teach otherwise are apostate, and deceivers. Do not follow them. Belief in the physical, bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ in His own body is an ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT for salvation, as plainly declared in Romans 10:9, 10. The Greek and English grammar of Romans 10:9 involving an “if” expression absolutely proves grammatically that this is an absolute requirement for salvation.

To suggest that “his body” is the Church, or the original group of disciples, and not His very own physical body is the heretical belief of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other apostates and unbelievers, but can never be the belief of any who claim truly to be Christian. Neither the Church nor the original group of believers can claim to have been destroyed and then to have been raised up in three days. Only our Lord Jesus Christ can lay claim to have done that, and it is the central fact of true, Biblical Christian faith.

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An Example of Real Bible Study

Just a few days ago (March 23, 2015, to be exact) I was studying the Bible and I noticed a potentially very fruitful verse for further study at Judges 6:13,

Judges 6:13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

Notice that Gideon had some very pointed questions. The conditions as he saw them in his day indicated the Lord had forsaken His people. Gideon saw that as evidence that the Lord was not with him, contrary to what the angel said.

Other significant people in the Bible likewise had such questions. If you wanted to find out who these persons are and what were their questions, how would you find out?

The answer is, make use of cross reference Bible study using a complete as you can find source of cross references.

I decided to study this verse to a greater depth, and it was a thrill to me to find out just how much interesting information in the Bible connects with this verse. I added many more new cross references for this passage. Let me share my results with you:

Judges 6:13. Oh my Lord. Da 10:16. if the Lord. Ge 25:22. Ex 34:14-16. Nu 14:8, 14, 15. *Ro 8:31. be with us. Jg 1:19. Nu 23:21. Jsh 3:10. Jb 29:5. why then. Dt 29:24. 30:17, 18. Ps 77:7-9. 89:49. Is 59:1, 2. 63:15. +*Je 12:1, 2. *Hab 1:3, 13. Lk 1:29. befallen us. +**Ru 1:13, 20. and where be. 2 K 2:14. *Jb 9:16. *Ec 7:10. Is 51:9. our fathers told us. Dt 32:7. Ps 13:1. 44:1. **Ps 78:3, 4, 12. 89:49. bring us up. Dt 7:18. Je 2:6. from Egypt. Ps 80:8, 12-14. forsaken us. Jg 16:20. Dt 31:17. 1 S 16:14. 28:6. **2 Ch 15:2. *2 Ch 30:7. Ps 27:9. 81:12. +*Pr 1:28. Is 41:17. Je 23:33. +**Mt 17:20. +*Mt 21:43. *Mt 23:38. *Lk 4:19, 20. +**Lk 13:35. Ac 7:42. Ro 1:24.

This set of cross references makes for a most remarkable real Bible study illustration of the power of cross references.

In this case, starting at Jg 6:13, the Bible gives us a full answer to Gideon’s question about the silence of God in his time, and by consulting the references given for Mt 17:20 and Lk 13:35 shows how and why that silence largely prevails in our own time.

Sir Robert Anderson wrote a most interesting book titled The Silence of God. I have read that book about three times. His opening chapter is most dramatic. But Sir Robert Anderson does not in his book provide as much Bible information as I would like to have seen to support his case.

I have done just that in the cross references supplied above.

Notice that I have provided special symbols with the cross references. These symbols tell you where to find more (that is what the “+” symbol stands for), and where are life-changing sets of references to be found (that is what the “+**” symbol alerts you to).

The references given for Judges 6:13 are an especially good example also of the three-level approach to digging deeper in your Bible study:

first level:

Jg 6:13;

second level:

+Ru 1:13; +Mt 17:20; +Mt 21:43; +**Lk 13:35;

and third level extends further from each of the second level passages based upon the “+” symbol at those references.

Matthew 17:20 is a wonderful promise about prayer:

Mat 17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Pastor Cole featured on the Moody Broadcasting Network some years ago remarked that he saw many more specific answers to prayer as a new Christian than he did as a much more mature Christian then of many years. He wondered if that was the case for many.

When we don’t see specific answers to our prayers, does that mean we have prayed for the wrong thing? Does that mean that we don’t even have the faith of a mustard seed?

I have shared elsewhere on this site as much as you will likely ever find anywhere on what the Bible teaches about unanswered prayer. Just place Psalm 66:18 into the search box in the upper right hand corner and the search result should bring you to that article about the reasons for unanswered prayer mentioned in the Bible.

The cross references given for Matthew 17:20 will shed much more light on this Bible subject:

Matthew 17:20. Because. ver. Mt 17:17. +Mt 9:2. 13:58. 14:30, 31. Lk 17:6. Jn 11:40. He 3:19. unbelief. +Mt 6:30. 16:8. Nu 20:12. Jg 16:20. Mk 16:14. Lk 8:25. 12:28. for verily. +Mt 5:18. If. FS184C, +Mt 4:9. ye have. Christ does not say if ye believe, but if ye have faith, a much stronger expression of personal possession. Compare have love (Jn 13:35; 1 J 4:16); have peace (Jn 16:33); have trust (2 C 3:4); have boldness (He 10:19; 1 J 2:28); have fellowship (**1 J 1:3n) [see Vincent on Jn 16:22]. **He 7:28n. 1 J 3:3. faith. Note: That is, as Bp. Pearce well remarks, a thriving and increasing faith, like a grain of mustard seed, which, from being the least of seeds, becomes the greatest of all herbs. Mt 8:13. *Mt 21:21, 22. %Ho 5:15. Mk 5:36. *Mk 11:23. Lk 17:6. Ac 3:16. 1 Cor 12:9. 13:2, 8n. %2 Cor 5:7. 6:13. %2 Tim 4:20. He 11:32-38. James 5:15. a grain. FS138B, +Ge 13:16. Mt 13:31. Mk 4:31. Lk 13:19. this mountain. The Rabbins were termed rooters up of mountains, because they were dexterous in removing difficulties (CB). ver. Mt 17:1, 9. *Mk 11:22-24. Lk 17:6. 1 Cor 13:2. nothing. Mt 14:29. Jb 22:30. 42:2. Mk 9:23. Lk 1:37. 18:27.

The above cross references, carefully studied, will shed much light on the subject of the “Silence of God.” Pay particularly close attention to the passages marked with the “%” symbol, which indicates a contrasting truth. For example, the Bible clearly teaches that God does in fact provide physical healing, even today. Acts 10:38 tells us that Jesus went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. Psalm 103:3 is a wonderful verse about healing also, and its cross references ought to be studied to learn what the Bible says about this subject. From what Jesus states in Matthew, and what Matthew cites from the Old Testament in that connection, it would seem the Bible teaches that healing is in the Atonement (see Matthew 8:17). Yet contrast 2 Timothy 4:20. It would seem that the special miracles experienced in the ministry of Peter and Paul where many were healed physically at the start of their ministry–those supernatural interventions of divine grace for healing were not as frequent, and in some sense may have ceased at the end of their ministry, for Paul left one of his fellow workers sick, not healed.

Luke 13:35 begins to help us see why that should be so. When God next speaks here upon earth, it will be a time of unbending judgment and wrath. Notice that when Jesus preached in the synagogue, as recorded in Luke 4:18 and context, he stopped his reading of the Isaiah passage in the middle of a verse, the middle of a sentence, because what followed which He left unread did not apply to the time of which He was speaking. There is an unannounced time gap in the prophecy, a time gap of undefined duration yet continuing even in our day. Now some have argued with me almost endlessly here in our discussions that there are no prophetic time gaps to be found in Scripture. To that, I simply respond, “Nonsense!” It is time for individuals with that point of view to get the blinders off and start doing real Bible study, instead of denominational Bible study!

I’ve barely scratched the surface of what a careful study of the cross references to Judges 6:13 can lead to. I invite you to continue that study on your own! I have furnished what are probably the most complete set of cross references for that verse that you will find anywhere.

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Daily Bible Nugget #353, Romans 9:18

The Nugget:

Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

My Comment:

Romans 9:18 illustrates the seventh attribute of God on my list of 40 or more divine attributes of God, the attribute of sovereignty.

Another book by Arthur W. Pink which I have, The Attributes of God, has a brief chapter on the sovereignty of God. Pink begins by saying “The sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy–see the preceding chapter.” In that preceding chapter Pink states “The absolute and universal supremacy of God is plainly and positively affirmed in many scriptures.” Pink cites 1 Chronicles 29:11, 12; 2 Chronicles 20:6.

Continuing the quotation from Pink’s first paragraph on the sovereignty of God, he writes: “Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases. None can thwart Him, none can hinder Him. So His own word expressly declares.” Pink cites Isaiah 46:10; Daniel 4:35; Ephesians 1:11. At the end of the short chapter on divine sovereignty as an attribute of God, Pink cites Romans 9:18.

I must alert every reader that one must read Pink with great caution and exercise careful discernment, with Bible in hand, digging deeper into the Bible verses Pink cites by studying those verses by looking up their cross references. Much of what Mr. Pink writes is most scriptural and sound, but some of what he writes is very mistaken.

Romans 9 is a most difficult chapter for many interpreters to understand. They nearly all go wrong at essential points, reading past what it is that Paul under divine inspiration has written there. Those, like Mr. Pink, who subscribe to Calvinism, are especially prone to get things wrong.

In the first place, many interpreters fail to notice that Romans chapter 9, 10, and 11 form a distinct unit in Paul’s letter to the Romans. Romans has three major sections. The first section, Romans chapters 1-8, are doctrinal. Romans chapters 9-11 are prophetic. Romans chapters 12-16 are practical application to Christian living. This structure very likely is the model of instruction Paul used to build well-grounded disciples. In reaching others with the Gospel, to follow Paul’s pattern, thoroughly ground new converts and old converts who have not grown much in their spiritual life in solid Bible doctrine. Ground them in a full and accurate understanding of Bible prophecy. Teach them the practical application of Scripture to guide daily living.

Romans chapters 9-11 pertain to the subject of Israel. Paul answers the troubling question, if Jesus is the Messiah to Israel, how is it that Israel rejected their Messiah? Paul shows from Old Testament scripture, quoted abundantly in this passage, that God’s plan for Israel is not permanently derailed because of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah. It is most important to remember that God has not cast off His people Israel (Romans 11:1). The church has not replaced Israel in the promises of God. God has made irrevocable covenants with His people Israel which shall be fulfilled to them, not someone else (Romans 11:29).

From the very beginning, the Abrahamic Covenant promised that through the seed of Abraham the whole world would be blessed. God knew from the beginning just how He would reach the countless numbers of people in other nations. Now we can see in our own experience just how God has carried that out in fulfillment of the promises God made to Abraham (Genesis 12:2, 3).

Thus Romans 9:18 and its immediate context demonstrates the sovereignty of God as He fulfills His written Word in the Bible.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1288 for Romans 9:18.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1309 or in Logos 5 or 6 Bible software for Romans 9:18.

(3) Consult the cross references given in the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 111 of the NT or on line at www.blueletterbible.org for Romans 9:18.

(3) Most people today do not have access to those three print resources, so I have posted cross references for this passage as I have developed them even more completely for your study as given below:

Romans 9:18. hath. ver. Ro 9:15, 16. *Ro 5:20, 21. Ep 1:6. mercy. +*Ex 33:19. on whom. ver. Ro 9:21. Ge 19:16. Dt 7:7. Ps 86:2. 1 Cor 12:11. and whom he will. This is a judicial act against rebellion, not a decree of damnation. God hardens no one for His glory. God’s efforts are to redeem, not damn; and the proof of that is the cross. But did God harden Pharaoh? Yes! God’s act of hardening was judicial. But let it be noted that the Almighty God did so only after repeated acts of Pharaoh’s active refusal to obey! Numerous times Pharaoh hardened his own heart; so in consequence of self-hardening, he was visited with Divine judgment (cf. Ex 7:14; 8:15, 32; 9:34-35) [LNT, fn z]. T#234 (sovereignty, freedom, and independence of God). Ro 3:5. +Ex 20:5 (T#246). +Dt 32:35 (T#248). +1 S 15:3 (T#244). 1 Ch +6:15 (T#247). Jb 9:12. *Jb 23:13. *Jb 33:13. +Jb 38:33 (T#240). +*Ps 115:3. *Ps 135:6. Is 43:13. *Is 55:10, 11. *+Da 4:17 (T#245), Da 4:35. Ho 2:4. +Mt 4:10 (T#241). Mt 11:25, 26. *Mt 20:12-16. Jn 5:21. 12:39n. +2 Cor 11:19 (T#243). +*Ep 1:11. *Phil 2:13. +2 Tim 2:25 (T#242). he hardeneth. **FS108A4, +Ge 31:7. +*Ro 1:24, 25, 26, 27, 28. +*Ro 2:4, 5. 11:7, 8. See on +*Ex 4:21. 7:3, 13, +*Ex 7:14. %*Ex 8:15, 32. +*Ex 9:7, 12, %Ex 9:34. 10:20, 27. 11:10. %Ex 13:15. 14:4, 8, 17. +*Dt 2:30. Jsh 11:20. %*1 S 6:6. **2 Ch 32:31. %*Ne 9:16. Ps 69:27. %*Ps 95:8, 9, 10, 11. Is 6:9, 10. 63:17. %*Je 7:26. *Ezk 18:31, 32. +**Am 3:6. Mt 13:12, 14, 15. *Jn 5:40. +*Jn 12:40. +Ac 19:9. 28:26, 27, 28. **2 Cor 4:3, 4. %+*1 Th 5:9. **2 Th 2:10, 11, 12. %**1 Tim 2:3, 4. +He 3:8, +*He 3:13, 15. **James 1:13, 14. 1 P 2:7, 8. *2 P 2:12.

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Daily Bible Nugget #352, John 19:11

The Nugget:

John 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

My Comment:

The sovereignty of God is the seventh attribute of God in this series of forty or more attributes ascribed to God in the Bible. Divine Sovereignty is a most controversial subject in theology. I won’t get into any of those details. I understand that Arthur Pink some years ago wrote a book on the subject. I have only the modern reprints of that book in my print library, and those leave out his most controversial chapter. It is important to maintain a careful balance in our teaching, a balance that carefully reflects the emphasis given to the subject in the Bible itself. I suspect that some Calvinists have gone overboard on this particular attribute and Bible theme and interpret just about everything else in the Bible in the light of this subject. That won’t work when it comes to arriving at the truth as taught in the Bible. There is a harmony of the attributes taught in the Bible, and a careful study of all the attributes of God certainly does not lead to an over-emphasis upon one of the attributes or qualities or characteristics which describe God.

I have keyed the attribute, the sovereignty of God, to John 19:11. This verse is a very profound passage. As given in the Greek text, the grammar of this verse involving the word except is most interesting, and significant. In the New Testament, the word “if” in Greek comes in four different forms, grammatically speaking. That includes some other words as represented in our English translations, including the word except. This grammatical condition conveys the idea of impossible or contrary to fact. This makes for a most interesting series of studies for this class of “if,” meaning “impossible or contrary to fact,” which is found in some rather interesting passages. I am not aware of any English translation that conveys this important insight to English readers. I placed a complete set of notes on this matter in my first book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and retained these notes in my second book, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible at the same places.

The cross references given below probably furnish the most comprehensive listing of Bible passages which pertain to the Sovereignty of God to be found anywhere.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on pages 1206-1207 for John 19:11.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1224 or in Logos 5 or 6 Bible software for John 19:11.

(3) Consult the cross references given in the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 80 of the NT or on line at www.blueletterbible.org for John 19:11.

(3) Most people today do not have access to those three print resources, so I have posted cross references for this passage as I have developed them even more completely for your study as given below:

John 19:11. Jesus answered. *1 Tim 6:13. Thou couldest have no power. Jn 3:27. *Jn 7:30. **Jn 10:17, 18. Ge 31:29. 45:7, 8. Ex 9:14-16. 2 K 18:25. *1 Ch 29:11, 12. Ps 39:9. 62:11. Je 27:5-8. La 3:37. Da 4:17, 25, 32, 35. 5:21. Mic 2:1. Mt 4:5. +*Mt 6:13. 21:44. **Mt 26:53, 54. Lk 22:53. Ac 2:23. *Ac 4:28. Ro 11:36. *Ro 13:1-7. James 1:17. Re 6:4. *Re 13:7. except. FS184B3, +Mt 23:30. +Ge 18:25n, point 7, Sovereignty of God. Jn 10:29. Ex 15:18. Dt 4:39. 1 Ch 29:11, 12. 2 Ch 20:6. Jb 9:2-12. 25:2. 33:12, 13. Ps 29:10. 47:2. 59:13. 82:1, 8. 83:18. 89:11-14. 93:1, 2. 97:1-6, 9. 103:19. 105:7. 113:3-5. 135:5-21. 145:11-13. +*Is 36:10. 40:12-31. 66:1. La 3:27. 5:19. Da 2:20. 4:35. 6:26. Mic 4:7, 13. Mt 6:10, 13. 11:25. Lk 10:21. Ac 7:48-50. 12:3. 17:24-31. Ro 9:19-33. 11:33-36. He 1:1-14. Re 4:11. 19:6. given. Ge 9:6. 31:29. Ex 21:25. Jg 3:12. 1 S 15:28. 2 K 5:1. 9:3. Da 2:21, 37. 5:19. Lk 8:32. Ro 13:4. Re 9:5. from above. Jn 3:3, 7, 31. 2 K 18:25. Ezr 6:22. Jb 1:12. 32:13. Ec 3:14. Is 54:16. he that. i.e. Caiaphas. Judas had delivered Him to the Sanhedrin, the Sanhedrin to Pilate. Jn 11:49, 50. *Jn 18:3, +Jn 18:14, 28-32. Mt 26:65. 27:2. +Mk 10:33. 14:44. Ro 13:1, 2. delivered. See on ver. Jn 19:30, “gave up” (CB). Jn 18:35. Mk 10:33. Lk 9:44. 23:34. the greater. +Jn 9:41. 15:22-24. 2 K 17:21. +Mt 10:15. +*Mt 11:22. Lk 7:41, 42. 10:11-14. +*Lk 12:47, 48. **Ro 2:12. *He 6:4-8. **James 4:17.

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Daily Bible Nugget #351, Hebrews 4:13

The Nugget:

Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

My Comment:

I have keyed the sixth attribute of God, the attribute of omniscience, to Hebrews 4:13. Simply put, God knows everything, past, present, and future. Some scholars have waxed philosophical and have argued God does not know the future free will choices of independent creatures such as man. That would mean that there are some things even God cannot know until after they happen. I have a problem with that kind of thinking. That would limit God, and God is not limited except only that He does nothing contrary to His character. If God does not know the totality of what is future, then how can He make very specific predictions with regard to prophecy like those recorded in the Bible?

Some would object that if God perfectly and fully knows the future as absolutely as He knows the past, then everything has been determined beforehand and there is no such thing as free will. I would answer that just because God knows the future, that does not mean he puts all of us in a straitjacket such that what we do could not be otherwise. God’s Word, the Bible, most clearly indicates that we have the capability and the responsibility of choice (Deuteronomy 30:19). It also declares in an interesting verse I first noticed particularly just today in my Bible study at Exodus 35:21 that what man wills to do is influenced by his inner character, his heart. We are not all pre-programmed robots who have no choice in how we respond to life and its opportunities; how we respond to what happens to us, and particularly, how we respond to God and to His written word in the Bible.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on pages 1427-1428 for Hebrews 4:13.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on pages 1446-1447 or in Logos 5 or 6 Bible software for Hebrews 4:13.

(3) Consult the cross references given in the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 159 of the NT or on line at www.blueletterbible.org for Hebrews 4:13.

(3) Most people today do not have access to those three print resources, so I have posted cross references for this passage as I have developed them even more completely for your study as given below:

Hebrews 4:13. Neither is there. Ge 3:8. +*1 S 16:7. 2 S 11:8. 18:13. 1 K 14:6. +*1 Ch 28:9. *2 Ch 6:30. 16:9. Jb 34:22. *Ps 7:9. 33:13-15. *Ps 44:21. *Ps 90:8. **Ps 139:4, 11, 12. *Pr 15:3, 11. +*Je 17:10. *Je 23:24, 25. 29:23. Da 2:22. +*Jn 2:24, 25. *+Jn 21:17. *1 Cor 4:5. Re 2:23. any creature. or, a created thing. Gr. ktisis (S#2937g, Mk 10:6). Ro 1:25. 8:19, 39. 2 Cor 5:17. Col 1:15. not manifest. Gr. aphanēs (S#852g, only here), non apparent (Strong). Jsh 7:11. 22:22. 1 K 10:3. +*Ep 5:13. in his sight. Ge 11:5. 13:13. 18:21. Jb 11:11. 31:4. 34:21. Ps 10:14. +*Ps 119:168. Je 7:11. Mt 6:4. 22:11. Ac 8:21. all things. T#219. God the Father is omniscient. Ge 18:18, 19, +Ge 18:25n. 25:23. Ex 3:19. Dt 29:29. *Dt 31:21. 1 S 2:3. **1 S 16:7. 23:12. 2 S 7:20. 1 K 8:39. 2 K 8:10, 13. 1 Ch 28:9. 2 Ch 16:9. Jb 11:11. 12:13, 16. 23:10. 24:1. 26:6. 28:23, 24. *Jb 34:21, 22, 25. 37:16. **Jb 42:2. +Ps 11:4. 33:13, 14. 44:21. *Ps 90:8. 94:9, 11. +Ps 103:14. 104:24. +*Ps 119:168. *Ps 139:1-6, 11, 12. 147:4, 5. Pr 3:19, 20. *Pr 5:21. 8:14. *Pr 15:3. 16:2. 17:3. 21:2. 24:11, 12. Is 29:15, 16. 40:13, 14, 27, 28. 41:4. 42:8, 9. 44:7. 45:4. **Is 46:10. **Is 48:3-6. Je 1:4, 5. *Je 16:17. 17:10. *Je 23:23, 24. *Je 32:19. 51:15. *Ezk 11:5. Da 2:20, 22, 28. 5:23. Ho 5:3. 7:2. Am 4:13. 9:2-4. 5:12. Na 1:7. Zc 4:10. +*Ml 3:16. *Mt 6:4, 6, 8, 18, 32. +Mt 9:4 (T#76-7). *Mt 10:29, 30. 12:25. 16:8. 23:28. 26:21. +**Mt 28:19n. Mk 2:8. 8:17. 9:33. 12:15. 14:13, 15. Lk 6:8. 9:47. *Lk 16:15. 18:4. 20:23. 24:38. +*Jn 2:25. 4:16, 39, 41. 5:6, 42. 6:15, 43, 61, 64. 8:7. 13:18. 16:19, **Jn 16:30. +**Jn 21:17. Ac 1:24. +Ac 2:23 (T#213), Ac 2:37. 15:8, 18. +*Ro 8:27, +Ro 8:29. 11:33. 1 Cor 3:20. 2 Cor 11:11. 1 Th 2:4. *2 Tim 2:19. 1 P 1:2. 1 J 3:20. Jude 1:25. *Re 2:18, 19. naked. Gr. gumnos (S#1131g, Ac 19:16), nude (absolutely or relatively, literally or figuratively) [Strong]. *Jb 26:6. 31:4. *Jb 34:21. *Jb 38:17. opened. Gr. trachēlizō (S#5136g, only here), to seize by the throat or neck, that is, to expose the gullet of a victim for killing (generally to lay bare) [Strong]. =Ge 42:8. Le 1:6, 9. Ps 51:6. 139:23, 24. Pr 20:27. Je 32:19. 1 Cor 14:24. the eyes. FS22A6, +Ps 11:4. *2 Ch 16:9. Ps 11:4. Pr 5:21. SS 5:12. *Je 16:17. 32:19. with. *Ec 12:14. *Mt 7:21, 22. +*Mt 10:15n. *Mt 25:31, 32. *Jn 5:22-29. **Ac 17:31. *Ro 2:16. *Ro 14:9-12. *2 Cor 5:10. *Re 20:11-15. have to do. or, must give account. +Ro 14:12.

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It is about time to reverse the trend

If you keep track of the news, there is very much going on that is so much nonsense–counterproductive to good sense.

The President of the United States is not thinking very clearly. In his state of the union speech, if I recall correctly, he mouthed off against those who do not believe in global warming. I’m writing this in March of 2015, and right now I would appreciate if Al Gore or President Obama would break down and send me some global warming. There has been no global warming on record for the last 15 years. Those who claim otherwise are tampering with the evidence, faking the evidence, and using flawed computer models (garbage in, garbage out).

President Obama and his ignorant mass media supporters continue to claim that the weather is affected adversely by human activity because that activity results in greater emission of the harmful gas, carbon dioxide. Those who make such claims are numbskulls. They surely failed in their basic science classes. Or they were out and about walking the halls of high school and college instead of attending class and paying attention to the science lesson about the carbon cycle. The so-called “carbon tax” is a pure money-grab by those who favor it and ought to be opposed and resisted. Carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas, it is most beneficial to plants. They need carbon dioxide like we need oxygen. And where do we get our oxygen supply? From plants that need carbon dioxide to produce it. If we had more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere we could have better crops and food harvests because plants would grow more luxuriantly. As for global warming, there is none currently. As for climate change, that is a contradiction in terms. Climate stays the same–whether tropical climate, temperate climate, or whatever climate zone you happen to be. Weather patterns and trends vary from year to year, and across centuries, but such changes are not due to human activity. Carbon dioxide does not produce global warming. Another gas in the atmosphere has much more effect on climate, that dangerous gas known as di-hydrogen oxide. Now that much more abundant gas does what carbon dioxide does not, for it is a very effective greenhouse gas that does trap heat in the atmosphere. You know that gas by its more common name, water vapor.

At the annual prayer breakfast, President Obama made some very uninformed remarks about world religions. He equated the current turmoil in the Middle East and elsewhere today (created by what he refuses to call Muslim Terrorism and savagery) to the Christian Crusades and the Roman Catholic Inquisition. For one thing, those things happened many centuries ago, but Islamic terrorism continues today. There are followers of Islam who are as barbaric today as its founder was about six centuries after Christ. For another thing, Roman Catholicism’s Inquisition against Bible believing Christians, Jews, and merchants, among others, rather marks that era in history as non-Christian by Bible standards.

The Muslim Brotherhood has regular access to our president. He is likely more Muslim than Christian. He clearly favors Islam, and is trying to bring many Muslim refugees here, but not the persecuted Christian refugees from the same regions. He is promoting an immigration policy that rewards illegal aliens who have absolutely no intention of assimilating into our society. He does not want them to assimilate, but to learn to navigate the system here. I say, send all illegal aliens and illegal immigrants back to where they came from. No other nation encourages such stupidity by keeping its borders open and unprotected. God set the borders of the nations for a purpose (Deuteronomy 32:7, 8; Acts 17:26). Tolerating multiculturalism and globalism in any form marks the death knell to your own culture.

Our freedom of religion is being severely compromised, for example, by those who think they can re-define “marriage” (Matthew 19:4, 5) and who think they can shut us up by censoring or shutting down the Internet, who marginalize Christians by defining Biblical truth as hate speech.

Now even Google thinks it knows enough about “truth” to evaluate the truthfulness of any website based upon the knowledge base it has developed from information gleaned from other Internet sites. That is absurd. Truth is not determined by a majority vote. I mentioned this principle to just about all my classes when I taught public high school. Apparently Google has not learned this basic concept. What I have posted on Real Bible Study about the Bible is the absolute truth. But I would suppose they do not know how to figure that out. What this means is that Google will continue to censor content on the Internet, especially content its managers do not like.

What students learn in school is crucially important. There are forces attacking the foundational principles of our culture who have taken over the content of what is taught in public and even private school, even Christian schools. School textbooks have been censored for more than fifty years by publishers who refuse to portray or mention the normal two-parent (husband and wife) family in word or picture. The spread of “Common Core” curriculum today is another example. Those promoting it may in part be ignorant of the motivations behind it. The new SAT Test is touted to match Common Core Content and Standards. Even the Advanced Placement Test in U.S. History has been doctored to reflect not American history but the criticisms of our history from sources that do not share our founding principles and values. It ought to seem strange to thoughtful teachers and administrators that there are such restrictions upon letting parents know much by the way of specific details about what is being taught and tested. At least in some places, parents are denied access to specific information about Common Core. What happened to the principle of transparency? There used to be local control of schools and curriculum. Now that school districts and state boards of educations have eagerly accepted handouts from the federal government, they have had to meet federal restrictions to continue to receive such funding, and are now under federal control.

Educators won’t admit, and most parents do not know, that the most significant factor in pupil success in school and life is what the pupil has learned at home. This means parents must focus upon home education. Home education is different from home schooling. Every parent can provide access to home education. Encourage your children, no matter what age, to learn what they should be taught in school but are not. This is easily done by encouraging your children to read. The most effective way to encourage children to read is to read to them from the time they are infants, and ever after. When children see that parents love books, and love to read, they will follow in their parents’ footsteps. In the home, children can be taught about American history, the founding fathers, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the Pilgrims, the true history of Pocahontas, and much more. Children can be introduced to genuine literature, including the great children’s classics largely shunned by modern educators. Louise Rosenblatt, for example, advocates in her writings that young people should not be encouraged to read children’s literature published before 1972. If you are wise, do just the opposite! Of course the greatest work of literature ever written is the Bible. Children must become familiar with its truths, its stories, its doctrines.

Every home with children must engage in home education if we are to preserve the freedoms bestowed upon us from God through the instrumentality of our very wise founding fathers. Encourage children to read books. Books need to be read in a special order. The concept is simple. Read several books about one subject. Read the easiest book first. Then the intermediate difficulty book next. Then the adult level book next. I call this reading methodology a “Reading Ladder.” What is learned from the children’s book will make the intermediate book seem just as easy; what is learned from the intermediate level book will make an adult level book seem easy. How can you do this? If you can find a public library that still has books in it, choose a book from the children’s section; choose a book on the same subject or person from the young adult section; choose a book on the same subject from the adult section, then read them in that order. If you can’t find a good library, most of this information is available on the Internet. Put books into your budget! Where to find time? Turn off the television set and any other entertainment source completely. Perhaps start, for those glued to the media, by having one day each week to be media entertainment free, to make time for the more worthwhile activity of reading, and as interest in reading grows, allow less time for electronic media. Turn off secular music, especially popular music of the day with its themes of immorality. Use the time and peace and quiet gained for reading and study. Resist the temptation to overburden your family schedule with excessive time devoted to sports and other out-of-home activities.

More Christians need to wake up to what is going on. We don’t go around chopping the heads off of those who won’t convert to Christianity, so those who regrettably differ from us think they can walk all over us. There are more of us than there are of them, though this is changing. We must reverse this wrongful trend. Christians need to wake up and obey the Bible and get busy getting the Gospel out to the unsaved. People who know, read, and study the Bible do not succumb to these supposedly new but very mistaken values. True Christians who are firmly grounded in the Bible through personal careful continuing real Bible study cannot be brainwashed by the media or anything else. Paul warned us to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10, 11). Too many are going around stark naked.

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Daily Bible Nugget #350, Proverbs 15:3

The Nugget:

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

My Comment:

The fifth attribute of God in my list of over 40 attributes is the attribute of omnipresence, which I have keyed to Proverbs 15:3.

From what I read in the Bible, God is everywhere present at the same time (Psalm 139:7, 8). That is in great contrast to Satan, who is ubiquitous–often present in many places but not every place at the same time, only one place at a time. Of course, Satan has helpers, so we need to be aware of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).

There is no place to hide from God (Psalm 139:11, 12). He sees all, both the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3). What is more, God keeps a record of all (Malachi 3:16, 17; Hebrews 6:10). This ought to be one motivation to follow holiness–living a life that is above reproach and honoring to God in all we say and do (Hebrews 12:14; 1 John 3:1, 2, 3).

If more people were fully acquainted with the Bible, and the God of the Bible, we would see a great change for the better everywhere. That is the real change and hope we can believe in, and God has placed the access to these wonderful life transforming truths in reach of everyone who can read in the pages of the Bible.

If you want to see such change for the better, do your part to encourage others to make Bible study and Bible reading a priority in life. Be an example to others by reading and studying the Bible yourself!

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 666 for Proverbs 15:3.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 707 or in Logos 5 or 6 Bible software for Proverbs 15:3.

(3) Consult the cross references given in the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 413 of the OT or on line at www.blueletterbible.org for Proverbs 15:3.

(3) Most people today do not have access to those three print resources, so I have posted cross references for this passage as I have developed them even more completely for your study as given below:

Proverbs 15:3. eyes of. ver. Pr 15:11. *Pr 5:21. Ge 16:7, 13. *2 Ch 16:9. Jb 24:23. 28:24. 31:4. *Jb 34:21, 22. +Ps 11:4. Je 16:17. *Je 23:24. *Je 32:19. Ezk 1:18. *Zc 4:10. *He 4:13. every place. T#220. God the Father is omnipresent. Ge 16:13. 28:15, 16. Dt 4:39. Jsh 2:11. 1 K 8:27. Jb 28:24. Ps 33:13, 14. 139:2-10. +*Is 57:15. 66:1. Je 23:23, 24. Am 9:2-4, 6. +Mt 18:20 (T#76-6). +*Mt 28:19n. Ac 7:48, 49. 17:27. Ep 1:23. 1 Tim 2:1-3. Re 5:6. beholding the evil. Ge 3:8, 9. 6:12. 16:7, 13. 22:11, 15-18. 28:11-16. 39:21. 46:1-4. Jsh 7:10-18. 1 K 22:34, 35. 2 K 5:26. 20:5, 13-18. 2 Ch 7:1-3, 12-16. 14:11, 12. 18:31. 33:12, 13. Jb 33:27. Ps 10:14. 73:11. 139:7-13, 23, 24. Is 29:15. 37:28. Ezk 3:22. Da 4:29, 32. 5:5. Ho 7:2. Am 2:1. 9:8. Jon 2:10. Mt 22:11-13. Jn 1:48. Ac 7:55. 8:29. 10:9-16. 12:23. 16:13, 14. 27:23, 24. 2 T 4:17. and the good. +*Ps 40:17. +*Ml 3:16, 17. +*He 6:10. 1 P 3:12.

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The Deity of Christ

A most important subject of Bible doctrine is the Deity of Christ.

To study this subject from the Bible you cannot simply use a concordance! That is because the word “deity” is not used as such in the Bible text. Certainly the word is not used in the KJV translation of the Bible.

If you are fortunate enough to own a copy of The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, its indexes are a goldmine of information about what the Bible teaches about the Deity of Christ.

I just posted the following information in the Logos Forums in answer to how to search for the subject of the Deity of Christ using Logos software:

I always am the late-comer when it comes to reading forums, answering questions!

I have as part of my Logos library my own book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. Because the Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the deity of Christ I placed much material in my book on the subject, for I studied with them for four years straight. My notes can be accessed by consulting the Subject Index entry, “Jehovah’s Witnesses: Answers to Doctrinal Errors,” on page 1562. The third numbered point in that index outline pertains to the Deity of Christ, Colossians 1:16 note; (a) Christ received worship, Matthew 14:33; John 20:29 note; Acts 7:59 note. (b) Lesser degrees of worship untenable, Philippians 2:6 note. (c) Not a lesser “god,” John 1:1 note; Philippians 2:6 note. (d) Called God, John 20:28 note. (e) Charge of blasphemy for claim to deity, John 10:32 note. (f) Deity required to qualify as our substitute in the atonement, Hebrews 10:4 note.

Also in the Subject Index on page 1554 is the entry, “Deity of Christ, 1 Peter 2:3 note.”

Further material will also be found in the Subject Index on page 1551 under “Christ’s Divinity,” with ten lines of further entries under that heading which I won’t reproduce here.

I lived in south-west Detroit on the corner of Fort Street and Hubbard. It was an easy bicycle ride in those days to Dearborn, where there was and is a large Muslim community. I was in contact with that community because at that time I not only sponsored the Bible Discussion Club but also the Comparative Religions Club at Cass Technical High School where I taught English. The Jewish students who asked me to sponsor their Comparative Religions Club asked my permission to invite a Muslim speaker to speak to the club, and I readily gave my permission. The man who came was then the head of the Islamic Center in Dearborn. I bought his book at the time, and he autographed it for me. My brother had more direct contact with the Muslims than I did. He influenced me to place a note at John 3:16 pertaining to the keywords only begotten son (KJV), because the concept of that sonship is little spoken of and largely not understood by ordinary Bible readers, and is a major point of difference with what Muslims are taught about Jesus. So I would encourage those here that might be interested in such matters to carefully study that note.

My book is no longer available in print, but it is available in Logos software. I thought it might help someone to know there is more in my book than what is advertised. Sometimes I enter into discussions or create posts at my Real Bible Study site where I answer questions and share how to use my cross reference Bible study resources more effectively. [End of my actual post]

I just learned yesterday that the price for a printed copy of The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge ranges from nearly $100 to almost $500 a copy. So, if you happen to have one, I hope you will take good care of it and not lose it. I had many copies stolen from me when I first had copies myself for sale. I trust that wherever those copies might be now, that the Lord is blessing their use to those who may now possess them.

The Muslims claim God cannot have a Son. Well, their false god probably does not have a son indeed, no quibble there. But the Jehovah of the Bible clearly does have a Son, mentioned in the Old Testament (Psalm 2:7; Proverbs 30:4). God also publically declared that Jesus Christ is His beloved Son, in whom He was well-pleased (see Matthew 3:17).

The Muslims sometimes claim that the Bible has been changed, and does not say now what it did when it was originally written. Nonsense. The text of the Bible in its original manuscripts varies very little from the oldest manuscript copies to our modern printed Greek and Hebrew Bibles. Such claims by some Muslims are therefore not grounded on fact, but contrary to fact.

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What is Reformed Theology?

Dr. R. C. Sproul has been teaching a very helpful, informative series of lessons on “What is Reformed Theology?” He is an excellent teacher, and I learned some new things today.

He began the series with a discussion of the idea of salvation by faith alone. He also gave a lesson about how we must go by Scripture alone as our final authority in matters of doctrine.

On these two points I think almost all genuine Christians would agree with his teaching.

Today he spoke on the subject of Covenant Theology. He said that those of the Reformed faith believe there are three basic covenants that pertain to our salvation: (1) The Covenant of Redemption, agreed to among the Trinity before the creation of the world; (2) The Covenant of Works, set forth in the Garden of Eden with Adam when Adam was forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; (3) The Covenant of Grace, whereby God announced and provided the means of grace whereby mankind can be saved. That is the best my limited short-term memory lets me recall about what Dr. Sproul taught in his message today on his Renewing Your Mind program.

Dr. Sproul in passing made mention of the Covenants with Noah, Abraham, and the Covenant at Sinai. He mentioned the New Covenant. All these are found in the Bible, like Dr. Sproul said. I noticed right away that he did not mention the Davidic Covenant.

Most of the very informative (at least to me) program was spent sketching out the three covenants important to Reformed Theology. Dr. Sproul said he does not like the term “Covenant Theology.”

Now I know what is wrong with Reformed Theology. It is based upon three imaginary covenants that are nowhere named as such in the Bible. These imaginary covenants are apparently necessitated by the exigencies of Reformed Theology. They form no part of Biblical Theology.

It is possible to formulate correct doctrine from the Bible by necessary inference using terms, names, or labels not found in the Bible itself. The doctrine of the Trinity would be an example of that. The doctrine of the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ might also fit this category. But the three covenants proposed by Reformed Theology are not formulated this way, to the best of my knowledge. They are the logical outcome of mistaken presuppositions.

I have not mentioned the Robinson Crusoe Test lately. In the classic work by Daniel Defoe, The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, you will recall that Robinson Crusoe was stranded on a deserted island. He was there by himself, the only survivor of a shipwreck. He managed to salvage several seamen’s chests, and was able to plant a garden and tend it. Among the items Robinson retrieved from the chests were “three good Bibles.” In the story he spent some time reading the Bible for himself, using the three plain text Bibles. He was surprised to discover no direct evidence in the Bible as he read it for some of the controversial views promoted as Christian theology in his day.

My Robinson Crusoe Test is the principle that if Robinson Crusoe could not discover a doctrine by long and careful study of the Bible, such a doctrine may not be true.

I would apply this to the three underlying covenants of Reformed Theology: Robinson Crusoe in his day, and anyone else since then, would be very hard pressed to derive such doctrines from a study of the Bible itself, alone, and in its entirety.

In his next program, Dr. Sproul intends to teach about “Total Depravity.” I believe that is the “T” in the “TULIP” acronym which summarizes the so-called “Doctrines of Grace.” These doctrines are: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints. Each of these five doctrines is utterly mistaken, and not in agreement at all with what the Bible teaches.

1. Total Depravity

This false doctrine is better called “Total Inability.” It is false to the Scriptures because every person is able to seek and find God by reading the Bible, particularly the New Testament, for themselves. John tells us he wrote the Gospel of John so that whoever reads it may be saved (John 20:31). Some argue on the basis of Romans 3:11 that no person is able to seek God. That is taking this verse totally out of context. Romans 3:11 is a quotation from Psalm 14:2, and Psalm 14:1 speaks concerning a special kind of person, not everyone in general, namely, the fool who in his heart has said “There is no God.” God tells us we are to seek Him (Isaiah 55:6, 7). Does anyone have the gall to suggest that God would command or even encourage what He very well knew man could not do?

Some who believe in “Total Inability” defend this mistaken notion by appealing to Ephesians 2:1, which speaks of all of us before we were or before we become saved as being “dead in trespasses and sins.” They fail to properly apply the metaphor Paul is using. Paul is not speaking of physical death, but spiritual death. Spiritual death can be reversed when one hears and believes the Gospel (John 5:24). Physical death cannot be reversed in this life; it can only be reversed by the resurrection (John 5:28, 29).

Many people are led into thinking that they believe in “Total Depravity” because they know the Bible teaches that all have sinned (Romans 3:23), and that our own righteousness is accounted by God as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). And these things are certainly true and Biblical. That is why I believe the expression “Total Depravity” is misleading, if not deceptive. Surely the Bible teaches we are all born with a sin nature (Psalm 51:5), and that no one (Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20) except the Lord Jesus Christ has lived an absolutely sinless life (Hebrews 4:15). But these facts do not negate the fact that God has given all men the ability to seek Him, believe, and be saved.

2. Unconditional Election

This false doctrine asserts that God chose the destiny of every individual before they were born, and no one can change that decreed destiny, even if they want to. This is a doctrine sometimes known as the doctrine of Predestination. The Bible does speak of the doctrine of Predestination. But nowhere in the Bible is a person ever said to be predestined to Hell or Eternal Punishment. Read your Bible and see. The only predestination known to Scripture is the glorious fact that God has predestinated those who believe in Christ to be conformed to His character (Romans 8:29).

3. Limited Atonement

This false doctrine asserts that Jesus Christ died only for the Elect, not the whole world. The Scripture teaches to the direct contrary. God so loved the world (John 3:16). “The world” clearly means every human being, not a limited set of persons called the Elect. The lamb of God takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Paul wrote that Christ died for all (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15). Paul asserts that if Jesus died for all, then all were dead in sin. The logic underlying the Greek grammar requires us to assert that all were dead. No true, informed, Bible believing Christian will deny that all are born dead in sin. But Christ died for all who are born dead in sin. Therefore, all are dead. If He did not die for all, then there must be some who are not included in the number of those who are born, for they must not have been born in sin, and for such Christ did not need to die. But that “set” of individuals is the “empty set.” Therefore, Christ of necessity died for all according to the Scriptures. Furthermore, John in 1 John 2:2 states that Christ did not die for our sins only, writing to believers, but for the sins of the whole world. This includes everyone. Therefore, the doctrine of the Limited Atonement is not compatible with the clear teaching of Scripture.

4. Irresistible Grace

This doctrine holds that all who are the elect and chosen of God will unfailingly respond to the call of the Holy Spirit and be saved. Those who hold this doctrine teach that there is a “General Call” issued to everyone, but to which no one ever responds; there is an “Effective Call” to which the Elect and only the Elect will unfailingly respond. This is not only an artificial but a false distinction not taught anywhere in the Bible. To suggest that the Holy Spirit ever would or even could issue a “General Call” to which He certainly knows no one can respond (according to this false doctrine) is tantamount to suggesting the Holy Spirit is deceitful, which is utter blasphemy.

Those who teach such mistaken doctrines fail to pay close attention to the underlying Greek grammar of the verses they cite in support of such doctrine. They fail to account, for example, for the subjunctive mood, which among other things marks a contingency in context which must be met to receive a benefit promised. This is especially the case in such passages as John 6:37, 44, 65 and similar passages. What appear in our often faulty available English translations to be unconditional promises or positive declarations are in Greek marked by the subjunctive mood which specifies a contingency which must be met, a contingency nearly always stated in the immediate context.

That the Holy Spirit can indeed be resisted is evident from Acts 7:51. For more evidence carefully consult the cross references provided there (including Isaiah 63:10; Luke 7:30; 19:27).

5. Perseverance of the Saints

Those who are the elect of God chosen by Him from eternity, chosen by God not on the basis of any foreseen action the individual may or may not do, will unfailingly persevere unto eternal life.

Some less-informed persons who suppose they believe in the “P” of “TULIP” equate this doctrine with what is popularly called “Once Saved, Always Saved.” This doctrine is even more false to the Scriptures. “Once Saved, Always Saved” is the teaching of Unconditional Eternal Security. This doctrine is false to the Scripture because (1) it denies the possibility of the apostasy of a believer; (2) it ignores the grammatical distinctions preserved in the Inspired Greek text of the New Testament.

To suggest that a believer cannot stop believing is nonsense, not only contrary to the many warnings addressed to believers of the dangers of apostasy (2 Peter 3:17; 1 Timothy 4:1), but directly opposed to the clear statement of our Lord Jesus Christ to the contrary in Luke 8:13.

Stop fooling yourself. This truth is most uncomfortable to those who have been taught otherwise by such teachers as Dr. R. C. Sproul and Dr. John MacArthur, and perhaps by your own pastor and Sunday school teachers. Come to an understanding of the irrefutable fact that the Bible teaches the absolute eternal security of the believer, not the unbeliever.

Many cite John 10:28 as proof of the doctrine of unconditional eternal security. To cite John 10:28 apart from John 10:27 is most deceitful or careless. Our Lord Jesus Christ promises eternal security to those who continue to hear His word and who continue to follow Him, and no one else!

Whether you think I am right or I am wrong, I invite you to leave a comment below.

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