The Bi-Nature (Dual-Nature) of Fallen Unsaved Mankind

The Bi-Nature (Dual-Nature) of Fallen Unsaved Mankind

All my Christian life I have heard from the majority of Christians that fallen mankind has only one nature and that nature is evil/sinful — which is inconsistent with the results of Adam’s and Eve’s sin of eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The popularity of this theological idea that fallen mankind has only one nature, which is an evil nature, in Christian theology appears to have been started/popularized by Augustine of Hippo (sometime during 354AD-430AD) and later even more popularized by Martin Luther (sometime during 1483AD-1546AD) and John Calvin (sometime during 1509AD-1564AD). These three men not only believed that fallen mankind had only one nature, which was an evil nature, but also believed that fallen mankind was “Totally Depraved” causing fallen mankind to not have the inherent free will capacity/ability to repent and accept or reject God’s call/drawing, instructions/teachings, commands, promises and gifts (especially the free gift of salvation through faith in Christ).

However, I have favored the interpretation of Scripture that fallen mankind (men and women) are born corrupted sinners [The old man (Rom. 6:6; Eph.4:22; Col. 3:9)] having two spiritual natures, good and evil, because of Adam’s and Eve’s sin — that is, fallen/corrupted/sinful mankind is now spiritually bi-natured (spiritually dual natured) having two spiritual natures [a good spiritual nature and an evil/sin spiritual nature (Gen. 2:16-17; Gen. 3:1-7; Rom. 1:18-19, Rom. 2:14-15, Rom. 7:15-25), thus knowing good and evil] in accordance/consistent with Adam’s and Eve’s sin of eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Fallen unsaved mankind is constantly making free will decisions to either follow the dictates of his good spiritual nature or his evil spiritual nature. Scripture and real life observation and experience indicates that fallen mankind’s “will power” is unable to follow the dictates of his good nature 100% of the time even if he/her wants to follow 100% of the time his/her good nature. The majority of unsaved mankind willfully chooses to follow the dictates of their evil/sinful spiritual nature the majority of the time.

In Rom 1:18-19 God through the apostle Paul states “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.” which I believe is equivalent to the good spiritual nature in fallen mankind. In Rom. 2:14-15 the Holy Spirit states through the Apostle Paul that the gentiles have the law written in their hearts with their conscience being evidence/witness of it which I believe is equivalent to the good spiritual nature in fallen mankind. In Rom. 7:23 the Holy Spirit has the Apostle Paul state that a law of sin dwells in his members which I believe is equivalent to the evil spiritual nature in fallen mankind.

When an unsaved person is confronted with the Gospel, the person’s will can choose to follow the drive of the his good nature and repent and accept Christ as his savior or the person’s will can choose to follow the drive of his evil/sinful nature and refuse to accept Christ as his/her savior.

The new man is a Christian born again (indwelt by the Holy Spirit and should be walk in/after the Spirit) — that is, the new man (born again Christian) has a good spiritual nature, evil/sinful spiritual nature and the indwelling Holy Spirit (helper/comforter) and should be willingly walking in/after the Spirit which helps the person (born again Christian) progressively become more Godly in his/her lifestyle and attitude (Eph. 3:16, Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 7:24-8:26; Gal. 5:16-25).

David Geminden

8/27/2015

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God’s Foreknowledge Of Man’s Choices

There are some Christians who say that God, in His infinite foreknowledge, looks into the possible futures of a person’s life (there could be almost an infinite number of possible futures) to see what that person would have done if they had heard the Gospel. Concerning this idea that God looks into the possible futures of a person’s life to see what that person would have done if they had heard the Gospel, I view as placing a limit on God’s foreknowing capability.

Some Christians say that God foreknows what a person will do when they hear the Gospel because God sees the past and the future as one big picture all at once since God is outside of time that He created as part of this universe. Again, I view this view as placing a limit on God’s foreknowing capability.

Some Christians (primarily Calvinists) say that God foreknows what a person will do when they hear the Gospel because God before He created this universe unconditionally chose who He would make (irresistibly) accept the Gospel (accept Christ as their savior). I view this view as placing a severe limit on God’s foreknowing capability.

My favorite way of viewing and talking about God’s foreknowledge of who will accept the Gospel (Christ as their savior) is as follows. God foreknows those whom He can convince/persuade to make a free will decision to accept His call/drawing to accept Christ as their savior. Yes, God foreknows more than just who will accept His call/drawing to accept Christ as their savior; God foreknows those whom He can convince/persuade to make a free will decision to accept His call/drawing to accept Christ as their savior—which also means that God does not need to perform a supernatural transformation of an unbelievers will/heart to enable/enlighten their will/heart to be able to accept God’s call/drawing to accept Christ as their savior. God just needs to use the Holy Spirit and the word of God to convict/convince/persuade the lost to accept the gospel message instead of rejecting it.

I am not saying that God calls/draws only those whom He foreknows He can convince/persuade to make a free will decision to accept His call/drawing to accept Christ as their savior. Scripture clearly teaches that Christ is drawing all men to Himself—however, in this group of all people God foreknows those whom He can convince/persuade to make a free will decision to accept His call/drawing to accept Christ as their savior.

If the unbeliever of his own free will accepts God’s call/drawing to accept Christ as his or her savior then God performs a supernatural event called being born again (or regeneration) in which the Holy Spirit permanently indwell the now believing individual providing the believer with Holy Spirit comfort, power and help to live the Christian life. The only reason to have God perform a supernatural transformation of an unbeliever’s will/heart to enable/enlighten their will/heart to be able to accept God’s call/drawing to accept Christ as their savior is if you agree with Augustine’s, Luther’s and Calvin’s idea that the fall of mankind disabled the free will capability to accept or reject God’s call/drawing and commands with mankind now possessing only an evil nature (and to that nature, man’s will is in bondage to)—instead of fallen mankind being corrupt bi-natured sinners having a good nature and an evil nature and a free will capable of choosing good or evil and capable of accepting or rejecting God’s call/drawing and commands, the free will that God created Adam and Eve with.

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My spreadsheet to approximate what size of weight distribution hitch I needed for my travel trailer and suburban

Revision q below

Travel Trailer weight Calc7q   xls file

Travel Trailer weight Calc7q   xlsx file

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Man’s inherent ability to accept/believe or reject God’s call, commands, instructions and promises

Man’s inherent ability to accept/believe or reject God’s call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts

My reasoning ability may seem rather simple compared to the no-inherent-free-willers (those Christians that believe fallen man does not have a free will capacity to believe/accept or reject God’s call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts); but, to me, their interpreting/reasoning process seems somewhat like that of a person that walks into a 10,000,000 acre forest of mostly pine trees and a few Aspen trees and comes into the middle of the forest and finds the only plot of Aspen trees, about 100 acres, and becomes so infatuated with the fall beauty of the Aspen trees that he concludes that the 10,000,000 acre forest must be made up of all Aspen trees.

Concerning the theological topic of the free will of fallen man, I refer to myself as an inherent-free-willer.

Because God is communicating to mankind through the Scriptures in the Bible in a style that reeks with an obvious understood implication that the hearer/reader, mankind, has the inherent ability to accept/believe or reject His call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts (some folk briefly refer to it as man’s free will), I let the concept of mankind having this inherent ability be the precedence.

Therefore when I encounter the very few verses of Scripture text (approximately less than 0.5% of the Scriptures) that on the surface possibly could be interpreted to contradict that majority precedence (man’s inherent ability to accept/believe or reject God’s call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts), I interpret them in light of this majority precedence (which can be easily done). By the way, to my simple mind, since all communications has an ultimate purpose (or desired outcome) and since the whole of God’s communication in the Bible reeks with an implication that fallen mankind has an inherent-free-will ability to believe/accept or reject God’s call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts, His purpose in communicating with fallen mankind in the Bible is to convince/persuade fallen mankind that we need to decide to repent of our sin and believe/accept (not reject) His call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts.

The Scripture also reveals more detail on God’s calling/drawing; that is, God’s calling/drawing is by the convicting/convincing/persuading work of the Holy Spirit using creation, our consciences and the word of God (Rom. 1:18-20; Rom. 10:8-17; 1Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12; Luke 8:21; Jn. 15:26, 16:13; 2 Thess. 2:13).

Update #12i 12/22/2014

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Romans Chapter 9

Because of my reasoning process listed above and because God is omniscient, I interpret what God foreknew in Romans 8:29 to be — God foreknows those whom he can convince/persuade to accept His call/drawing – which He is very capable of foreknowing. Concerning Romans 9:6-26, I interpret that section to be a very stern method that God used to tell gentiles and Israelites that our WILLINGNESS OR RUNNING (verse 16) did not FORCE OR OBLIGATE Him to develop His plan of whom to show mercy to or whom to harden. This is clearly revealed by God’s INITIAL responses to the questions in verses 14 and 19. Instead of fully explaining why He (God) is not unjust, and why He still finds fault (for who resists His will?), God starts irritating (rattling the cages of) the Jews and Gentiles reading reading Romans 9:6-29.

Romans 9:1-7 indicate that Romans chapter 9 through chapter 11 are primarily addressed to the Israelites, however Romans 9:24-26, along with Romans 8:28 -31, indicates that the principles of God’s foreknowledge, God’s promising, God’s electing, God’s forming, God’s mercy and God’s hardening also apply to all people.

God begins in verse 8 by making a statement that will (and does) anger the Gentiles (who depend on works for salvation) and especially the Israelites that depend on their pedigree (promises and covenants to them from God) and works to be know as the children of God (Romans 9:8 — “That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.”). Next God increases their anger by making comments about Rebekah’s twins in verses 11-13 (Rom 9:11 — “for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12 — it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.” 13 — Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”) God now anticipates what the angry Israelites and Gentiles will say in verse 14 (“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!) The phrase (“By no means!“), I interpret (based on free will of fallen man being the precedence in the Bible and on God’s foreknowledge in Romans 8:29) to be a hint by God that He justly and conditionally chose Jacob because God foreknew that He could convince/persuade Jacob and not Esau to repent and accept/believe His call/drawing, commands, instructions and promises. However, God is now peeved with them and chose to delay giving a complete explanation of why He was just in choosing Jacob over Esau and makes more statements that will increase the anger of the Israelites and Gentiles even more in verses 15-18 (Rom 9:15 — “For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 — So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 — For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18 — So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.) Because God foreknows that some of the Israelites and Gentiles will have forgotten about Him previously mentioning His foreknowledge in Romans 8:29, God knows that they will be even more angry with what He just stated and that they will say in verse 19 (You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”) God becomes more peeved, and again God chose to not fully explain why He is just in His decisions, but makes more comments that will make the Israelites and Gentiles even more angry in verses 20-26 (Rom 9:20 — On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 — Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 — What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 — And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 — even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 — As He says also in Hosea, “I WILL call THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, ‘MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, ‘BELOVED.'” 26 — “AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ‘YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE callED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD.” ) Again God foreknows that some will have forgotten about Him previously mentioning His foreknowledge in Romans 8:29 and not realize that the potter (figurative of God) foreknows beforehand how each portion of clay taken out of the main lump (tub) of clay will respond to the potters molding process. The potter (figurative of God) foreknows beforehand which portions of the main tub of clay can be molded into a vessel of honor and which portions can only be molded into a vessel for common use.

In verses 27-29, God reveals His foreknowledge through the prophet Esaias that He can and will convince/persuade a seed/remnant of Israelites to repent and be saved, so they will not be totally destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrha.

Finally! — After angering the Jews and Gentiles by sternly telling them that ” — for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, — “ and by telling them “– He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. — ” and by telling them that man cannot tell Him what to do (with the potter and clay scenario), God in Romans 9:30-33 finally COMPLETELY AND FULLY answers their angry remarks and questions in verse 14 and 19 and indicates that He is actually just and ACTUALLY DOES CHOOSE to show mercy to those that of their own free will choose to accept God’s call to SEEK righteousness by faith, and not by works as Israel did. (Rom 9:30 — What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 — but Israel, PURSUING a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 — Why? Because they did not PURSUE it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 — just as it is written, “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.) Yes! — God finally fully answers their angry remarks and questions of verses 14 and 19, that is, why He is not unrighteous.

I believe if one gets locked up on this stern section (Romans 9:6-26) and does not to take into account Romans 8:29, Romans 9:30-33 and the implication of the majority of Scripture (that fallen man does have a free will capacity to believe/accept or reject God’s call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts), he will easily and wrongly conclude that mankind does not have the inherent ability to accept or reject God’s call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts.

Update #12k 8/03/2015

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John 6:24 – 70

In light of the Biblical precedence of “man’s inherent ability to accept or reject God’s call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts”, I will give my interpretation of John 6:24-70. But first, the no-inherent-free-willers interpret the phrase (…”can come”…) in two verses (John 6:44,65) to indicate that fallen man does not have inherent-free-will capacity to accept/believe the call/drawing/granting salvation message of God being given to them through Christ’s words (God’s words).

Because God is communicating to mankind through the Scriptures in the Bible in a style that reeks with an obvious understood implication that the hearer/reader, mankind, has the inherent ability to accept/believe or reject His call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts (some folk briefly refer to it as man’s inherent-free-will capacity), I let the concept of mankind having this inherent ability be the precedence; and I interpret difficult passages that can possibly be interpreted to appear contradictory to that precedence (of mankind having inherent-free-will) in light of mankind having inherent-free-will capacity.

So how do I interpret John 6:24 through John 6:70?

Joh 6:24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus.

Joh 6:25 When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?”

* A crowd of people following Jesus which included the disciples and His special twelve disciples.

Joh 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

Joh 6:27 “Do not WORK for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

* Christ gives food for eternal life which you should seek, work for.

* God through Christ is calling/drawing ALL in the crowd (both those Christ/God foreknows who will believe and will not believe) to SEEK/WORK for the bread of life (Him/Christ, who can give you eternal life).

Joh 6:28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that WE MAY WORK the WORKS of God?”

* What work should we do?

* What WORK should we do to obtain eternal life.

Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the WORK of God, THAT YOU BELIEVE in Him whom He has sent.”

* The work for you to do is to BELIEVE IN HIM WHOM GOD SENT. Ordinary people will understand the command to believe as being what they of their own free will must do.

Joh 6:30 So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?

Joh 6:31 “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.'”

Joh 6:32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.

Joh 6:33 “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

Joh 6:34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”

Joh 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

* I (Christ) am the food (bread) of life; therefore HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME will never thirst. Again it is understood that they must make a free will decision to believe in Christ.

Joh 6:36 “But I said to you that you have seen Me, AND YET DO NOT BELIEVE.

* I believe that Christ is addressing only those in the crowd that do not believe, since Joh 6:66 implies that their were some in the crowd that did believe in Christ for eternal life.

Joh 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

* All who the Father gives Me will come to Me, and those who come to Me I will not cast out.

* This verse implies God’s FOREKNOWLEDGE of those who will come to and believe in Christ for salvation; and it is those the father gives to Christ.

Joh 6:38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Joh 6:39 “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of ALL THAT HE HAS GIVEN ME I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.

* All that the Father has given me I will not lose, but raise them up on the last day.

Joh 6:40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

* All that see the Son, Jesus, and believe in Him will have eternal life and will be raised up on the last day.

* Again, verses 39 and 40 together imply God’s FOREKNOWLEDGE of those who will of their own free will come to and believe in Christ for salvation; and it is those the father gives to Christ.

Joh 6:41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.”

* The Jews (the ones that of their own free will refused to believe Christ) in the crowd of people were grumbling about Christ because He said He came down out of heaven.

Joh 6:42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?”

Joh 6:43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves.

* The excuse given by the unbelieving in the crowd to justify their unbelief in Christ.

Joh 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

* It is understood that all those hearing Christ’s words are being drawn by God, Christ; and those who of their own free will believe in Christ are the ones who will be raised up on the last day.

Joh 6:45 “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

Joh 6:46 “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.

* Written in the prophets, ‘and they shall all be taught of god.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

* It is understood that those hearing Christ’s words are being taught by God, Christ; and those who of their own free will come to Christ and believe in Christ are the ones who accepted (believed) what they learned from God (Christ).

Joh 6:47 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

* He who believes has eternal life.

Joh 6:48 “I am the bread of life.

Joh 6:49 “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.

Joh 6:50 “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.

Joh 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

Joh 6:52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”

* Again, another excuse given by the unbelieving in the crowd to justify their unbelief in Christ.

Joh 6:53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.

Joh 6:54 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

Joh 6:55 “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.

Joh 6:56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

Joh 6:57 “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.

Joh 6:58 “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

Joh 6:59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

* Christ was teaching these things to the crowd in the synagogue at Capernaum.

Joh 6:60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”

Joh 6:61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble?

Joh 6:62 “What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?

Joh 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

* The Holy Spirit give life; the flesh profits nothing; the words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Joh 6:64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.

* Some of you do not believe. Jesus knew from the beginning who they were, and who would betray Him.

* This verse implies that God’s and Jesus’ foreknowledge is involved just like Romans 8:29 does.

* Verse 64 also implies Jesus’s foreknowledge of those that would not make a free will decision to believe in Him as well as to who would betray Him.

Joh 6:65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

* For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.

* Because of God’s and Jesus’ foreknowledge, He foreknew that there were some in the crowd He could convince to make a free will decision to believe in Him. Because of this foreknowledge, God had granted them, along with the rest of the crowd, the opportunity to be drawn to Christ. The ones that God foreknew He could convince to make a free will decision to believe in Christ are the ones He gave to Jesus. It is understood that all those who hear Christ’s words have been granted to be drawn by God to Christ even though Jesus foreknew those in the crowd who would not accept the drawing (calling) of God that God had granted to them to have.

Joh 6:66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.

* Many of His disciples withdrew and did not walk with Him anymore.

* The crowd of people contained many Jews, many of His disciples and His select twelve disciples.

Joh 6:67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”

* Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away also?”

Joh 6:69 “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”

* No! We have believed in you.

Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”

* Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?

The following is my brief interpretation summary:

The verse John 6:64 {Jn 6:64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.} implies that God’s and Jesus’ foreknowledge is involved just like Romans 8:29 does. Because of God’s and Jesus’ foreknowledge, God foreknew that there were some in the crowd He could convince to make a free will decision to believe in Him. Because of this foreknowledge, God had granted them, along with the rest of the crowd, the opportunity to be drawn to Christ. The ones that God foreknew He could convince to make a free will decision to believe in Christ are the ones He gave to Jesus. It is understood that all those who hear Christ’s words are being taught by God and have been granted to be drawn by God to Christ even though Jesus foreknew those in the crowd who would not accept the drawing (calling) of God that God had granted to them to have. No person can come to Christ and believe in Christ unless the Father who sent Christ draws him; and Christ will raise him up on the last day if they behold Christ and make a free will decision to believe in Him. The crowd was being taught by God through the words of Christ (God’s words) (which are spirit and life) is a fulfillment of old testament prophecy that states that ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’.

Interestingly, in John 6:44, if one assumes that the person (referred to as “no one”) DOES NOT HAVE the inherent ability to accept or reject God’s call/drawing, the verse implies that he WILL NOT be raised up in the last day if God does not draw him; and also, if one assumes the person (referred to as “no one”) DOES HAVE the inherent ability to accept or reject, he ALSO WILL NOT be raised up in the last day if God does not draw him. This line of reasoning would also apply to Jn 6:65 (“And He was saying, ‘For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.’”) In verse 65 it also does not make any difference WHETHER OR NOT a person has the inherent-free-will ability to accept or reject, the person can not come to Christ if God has not granted him to be called and drawn to Christ. Therefore, one could conclude that those two verses are not talking about the capability of man’s will to accept/believe, but about the fact that it is God that chooses, grants, teaches, calls and draws; and that is what God was doing through Christ speaking to this crowd of people — giving all of them in the crowd (Jn 3:16; 1 Jn 2:2; Jn 6:40) the opportunity to be taught by God (by Christ) and to make a free will decision to believe in Christ for salvation (eternal life). However, He foreknew those in the crowd that He could convince/persuade to decide to believe in Him (Christ) and those He could not convince/persuade to decide to believe in Him (Christ).

Mankind can not come to Christ if they do not know who the true God is and who the true savior is (Rom 10:13,14,17). Therefore, God has granted mankind to be given this knowledge by the drawing of the word of God and the Holy Spirit.

Update #4f 10/31/2015

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Romans 3:11

In Romans 3:10-13 God had Paul quote some hyperbole (exaggeration) scriptures from the book of Psalms as added proof that both Jews and Greeks “are all under sin” (Rom 3:9). In other words, the statement “are all under sin” is the meaning of the hyperbole quoted in Romans 3:10-18. Yes, in Romans 3:9 God gave Paul the meaning of the following hyperbole scriptures quoted in Romans 3:10-18, so that the readers would not take those verses in a wooden literal way.

Calvinists, however, interpret Romans 3:11 (THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;) in a wooden literal why in an effort to help prove their concept of total depravity (that fallen mankind does not have the inherent free will capacity to accept or reject God’s call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts).

However, even if Romans 3:11 is taken in a wooden literal sense, in this context “God” is understood to be the one true God described in the Bible. Then, if mankind is not seeking the one true God of the Bible, then they are seeking some sort of a god or gods according to Romans 1:18-28 as God through Paul pointed out previously in chapter 1 of Romans. Since, the one true God of the Bible foreknows that some of those that are seeking some sort of a god or gods can be convinced/persuaded by Him (through the convincing work of His word and the Holy Spirit) to freely accept His call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts; God has granted all mankind to be drawn (John 6:44, 65); and draws them through the convicting, convincing, drawing work of the word of God and the Holy Spirit.

Update #12i 12/22/2014

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1 Cor. 2:14

Calvinists try to say that this verse supports their concept of total depravity (that fallen mankind does not have the inherent free will capacity to accept or reject God’s call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts) because they interpret the words “the natural man” to be all of fallen mankind. But the phrase “natural man” in 1 Cor. 2:14 (but a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.) does not refer to all of fallen mankind; but (I believe) is a sarcastic summation description/word (that is, bestial men) for those previously described in chapters 1 and 2 as being the worldly wise, the worldly scribes, the worldly debaters, the mighty of this world, the noble of this world, superior worldly speakers, those that use worldly persuasive words of wisdom, that is, all those who consider themselves to be the wise elite of this world which have given themselves over to the wisdom of the world and men. 1 Cor.2:14 only contrasts the wise elite of this world with Christians. It does not give detailed information on the process of how a person gets saved.

Based on the precedent implication of the Bible (that fallen mankind has the inherent free will capacity to accept or reject God’s call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts), and on 1 Cor. 1:21 (For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.) and the context of 1 Cor. 1:18 thru 1 Cor. 2:16 and Romans 8:29; it is those that willingly humble themselves thus joining the ranks of the foolish, weak, base, despised in this world that God foreknew he could convince/persuade to think spiritually and freely accept/believe His call/drawing, commands, instructions, promises and gifts (such as, Christ) who would then be born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit to be able to fully understand the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10).

Update #12i 12/22/2014

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The Legalist, The Imaginary Jackelope of Modern Christians and Weak Conscience Christians

Everyone has thoughts on the modern theological definition of  legalism and a legalist.  Also, everyone has thoughts about the weak conscience Christians that the Apostle Paul refers to in Romans 14, 1Cor. 8 and 1Cor. 10.  Well, so do I.

You can read my thoughts on these topics here: The Legalist, The Imaginary Jackelope of Modern Christians – and – Weak Conscience Christians.

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Posted in Colossianism, False Gospels, Galatianism, Jackelope, Legalism, Legalist, Pharisaism, Pharisee, Spiritual Maturity, Strong Conscience Christian, Uncategorized, Weak Conscience Christian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some of My Thoughts on Calvinism (Baffled-Calvinists and Baffled-Free-Willers)

Everybody, including me,  has some thoughts on Calvinism and man’s ability to accept of reject God’s information and call through His Word (verbal or written) and the Holy Spirit.  Read my thoughts here: DCG’s thoughts on Calvinism.

After you read the above link, please click the HOME tab or use your browser return button to return to this blog (Home) page to leave your comments on this blog (Home) page instead of leaving your comments on the page that the above link took you to.

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My Salvation Testimony

About a third of the way through the first semester of a technical electronics program at college in 1963 is when significant conviction about where my life was headed begin to grip my heart.

I had entered college thinking that the large amount extra of time I spent studying and preparing for my high school classes had enabled me to be able to read and learn at a faster pace. I knew that I needed to learn at a faster pace in order to get through a semester of college carrying a normal full load. I thought that I had actually increased my learning speed to be fast enough to handle a normal full college course load like my friends and brothers that successfully went through college. I remember a proverb posted in the main hallway of the high school that stated “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again”. Because of that proverb, I decided to spend the extra time studying my class material, thinking that the extra time spent would increase my learning speed to a level that would enable me to successfully handle a normal college semester course load. Wow, I was really wrong about that. In high school I had to spend three time longer studying my high school class material in order to be able to match a grade level of about a B, that my brothers and friends typically got in the same classes. One third of the way through that first semester at college, I sadly realized that all that extra work in high school had not increased my learning speed at all because I was flunking; and I could not keep up with my class studies. I now sadly realized that the proverb, that was hanging in my high school hallway, was partially true and gave me false hope. Yes, I learned that by spending extra time studying I could learn the material; but to be highly successful, like I wanted to be, in this competitive world time was a very important issue. Because that proverb left off the time element, it just lifted me up and prepared me to encounter a very great emotional fall.

I emotionally fell in to a dark cave and could not see any hope of having a successful life in this competitive world. I gave up and stopped studying my class material. I was so emotionally down that I did not trust anybody and did not seek any counsel from anybody. I felt that I was so slow at learning that I was a useless bag of walking flesh and blood in this world. The mental memories of the taunting of slow students like myself that occurred in grade school also came back to mentally haunt me. I started a daily routine of hiding by walking around campus sidewalks, through campus buildings and streets in the college town looking like a real college student with books under my arm with a dark cloud over me. Those walks were filled with a constant thoughts rolling through my brain like, “David, you useless hunk of flesh blood, your life is obviously worthless and you will be nothing but fodder for people to steam roll over. What is my purpose for being alive? What is the purpose of human life existing?”

After several weeks, new thoughts begin to surface in my brain such as, “This life for me in the flesh is going to be like a living hell. What if the Bible is correct about God really existing and about humans really being a part of His creation and about being responsible to believe in Him and about living according to His rules and about there being a real hell to spend eternal punishment in after this physical life is over? Do I want to spend this present physical life in what seems like a living hell now just to die and spend an eternity in a real hell?” Memories of what I had read and heard at church during the few times our family attended begin to rise up out of my mental storage area. At least, my memory could remember a few things!

Some strange things begin to happen to me then. I started becoming more and more upset with my roommate in the dorm I was in. Since I was raised on a farm, watching him was like watching a bull in a herd of cows that are all in heat. It seemed like almost every other night he would return to our room in the middle of the night and wake me up and brag to me about the one-night-stand he just had with some girl. I thought to myself that if God and eternal hell really existed my roommate would inter hell in a spectacular fashion. He apparently did not like the fact that I did not like to listen to his bragging about his one-night-stands. So, he arranged with one of his friends in another room to swap rooms with me. I agreed. My new roommate did not have the same problem my old roommate had, but he did hold to a philosophical philosophy that helped my thinking turn more and more to the Bible, but he was not a Christian. He had asked me if I was a Christian, but I did not answer him with a direct answer. I just told him that I had attended a Lutheran Church some. He told me that he did not believe in a real hell after death. His philosophical belief was that all humans have a spark of god in them and that we all would become gods after death; and since there was no supreme god to punish all the gods in heaven there could not be punishment after death; therefore, a real hell did not exist. His philosophy implied that all the gods had wicked natures like humans. I thought, “Who would want a god or gods like that. There would be not any real justice ever take place.” He also told me that he could do any evil thing he desired in this life, including killing me for what ever reason he had, and he would never be held accountable for those sins after death. He said that the only thing he would have to worry about was getting caught by the police in this life. He also had a strange habit of making darts out of wooden pencils with a straight pin in the eraser. Often I would feel something hit my leg, arm or rear end, and I would find his homemade dart stuck in me. That annoyed me much. I thought he was a very strange fellow, but his philosophy and strange actions did cause me to focus more on spiritual things and the Bible. His discussions about his mythical beliefs convinced me that the God described in the Bible would be the God I would accept if He really did exist. Those discussions with him helped me recognized that all pagan religious systems contained far too much mythology in them. Those discussions, also, helped me realize that the Bible hardly had anything comparable to the mythology found in pagan religious systems.

If I was not sitting in my room or wondering around campus or town, I would be in the dorm dinning room listening to the other fellows in the dorm talking. I soon found out that the fellows segregated into two basic groups. One group, that I academically was at the bottom of, was the lower IQ folk. The other group was the higher IQ folk. I would vary what group I sat with at meal times and listen to their talk. After a while, I began to notice a common topic of discussion that often occurred in both IQ groups. If someone told the others in their group about their one-night-stands or other sins they committed, someone would speak up and say that he would go to hell for his sin. The person talking about his sin would reply, “that is not a problem since God does not exist and therefore hell does not exist”, and about 75% of the other listening agreed with him. He would continue to explain that God does not exist since all life and humans evolved from a puddle of soup over hundreds of millions of years; there is no need of a creator God since science has proven that all life evolved without the aid of any creator. The conversations would then continue on to the topic of evolution. What was interesting to me, was that, most of the time, the topic of evolution always got started after someone mentioned sin and hell. This occurred in both IQ groups. It was very obvious that their primary reason for accepting naturalism’s creation story of evolution was for the purpose of keeping their conscience from bothering them and escaping eternal punishment in hell. As a side note, If you take the word science out of naturalism’s evolutionary creation story, the hypothesis of soup to us, it sounds as mythical as pagan religious systems.

By this time in my emotional turmoil about my academic failure, I was already contemplating doing what I had seen many do in grade school, high school and college that had low academic capabilities like I had. In order to feel useful and important in life, they would speak boastfully, growl, howl and cuss getting the attention of everyone around them, primarily targeting those of a lower IQ then themselves. I had also noticed that a great many in grade school, high school and college that had high IQ’s in order to feel useful and important in this life would not growl, howl or cuss, but with smooth intellectual speech intellectually humiliate others around them in order to get attention, primarily targeting those with lower IQ’s than themselves. I obviously could not employ the later technique to obtain a feeling of usefulness and importance in this life, since I did not have a high enough IQ. By this time my knowledge of the description of sin in Bible was already convicting me of the sin of being self centered; and if the God of the Bible really existed, I was definitely headed for an eternity in hell after death. By this time my mental thinking process had coined descriptive phrases for the two groups of boastful self centered people described above as “dumb barking bulldog steamroller operators” and “intellectual steamroller operators”.

To achieve a sense of usefulness and importance in my life, I start contemplating heading my life down the path of life using the technique of the “dumb barking bulldog steamroller operator’s” life style. However, my heart was already under the conviction that my life was headed for hell if God really exists; and if I steered my life in the direction of being a “dumb barking bulldog steamroller operator”, there was no way I could escape hell. So, I started thinking about avoiding the conviction of sin in my heart by trying to convince myself that the creator God described in the Bible really did not exist and justifying that idea by accepting the belief that everything, including man, evolved by itself by time and blind random chance over hundreds of millions of years. However, the thought rose up in my mind that I need to know for CERTAIN that everything evolved by time and blind random chance, instead of having been created by the God of the Bible. I then started thinking back over the stuff I had learned in high school biology classes. As I pondered the functions and components in living cells, I intuitively realized there was a massive quantity of intelligent design implication signs written on every structure and function in living cells and on every structure and function in all living organisms. My hope of finding absolute proof that time and blind random chance evolution occurred and that God absolutely does not exist disappeared in a puff of smoke.

I did not immediately accept that the God of the Bible really exists. I did not repent and accept Christ as my savior at that time either. Instead, I continued roaming the campus and re-pondering everything I had pondered already. Finally, one evening, sometime before the end of the semester, I came to the conclusion that the God of the Bible through the Bible accurately described the state of man; and that God created everything, not time and blind random chance; and that I was responsible to Him. That evening I prayed to God and confessed to him that He does exist and that I accepted His Word which stated that I and all humans were sinners on our why to hell; and that now I believe that if I did not trust in Christ as my savor as recorded in the Bible, I was on my way eternal punishment in hell. I told Him that I believed I was a sinner in need of him forgiving my sins through Jesus’ sacrifice, death and resurrection, and I told Him that I now believe and trust in His Son Jesus as my savior (sacrifice for my sins). I also told him that I knew I would be probably be ridiculed for the rest of my life for believing in Him and believing in His Son as my sacrifice for sins and for trying to live a godly lifestyle pleasing to Him and for believing the He was the creator of all the universe, earth and life on earth, not time and blind chance evolution. I also ask God to help me in my studies that semester, but He did not answer that studies request. From that time on I had a new thirst in my heart, which was to study the Bible and learn more about Him and His will for mankind.

I finished the semester with a failing grade, and I did not return to college the next semester. In February of the following year I enlisted in the Army Security Agency for a four year tour of duty, in order to avoid being drafted. I had heard that I could get better military electronics training, that was at a slow pace than a full semester college course load was, if I give the Army more than two years of my life. In basic training and advanced training I found myself constantly trying to study the Bible, but I need some help. Toward the end of my advanced training course, I was leaving a Sunday morning chapel service at one of the post chapels, when another soldier stopped me and asked me if I was interested in attending a Bible study group in the chapel on Tuesday nights. I accepted the invitation and started attending the study. The Lord kept me stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts for the rest of my four year tour of duty, and I attended the Bible study every Tuesday, except when on leave. While studying the Bible in that Bible study group, I came to see how God had used the circumstances I encountered during that life changing semester in college. I came to see and realize that God had also manipulated circumstances to encourage me to decide to enlist in the Army. Enlisting in the Army moved me away from everyday contact with my old life and put me in contact with some very faithful godly believers in the Army and made weaning me away from my old lifestyle easier.

While listening to others in the Bible study giving their testimony of salvation, I noticed that the majority of them had some other Christian witnessing to them when they became convinced to repent and accept Christ as their savior. I realized that my salvation experience was different, in that there was not another Christian witnessing to me while the Lord was drawing me to his Son, Jesus. The Lord used what little of His Word I had learned in the few times that I attended church while growing up on the farm in Oklahoma and a strange new-age college roommate telling me what he believed and why he rejected the Bible. All during that time the Holy Spirit was convicting and drawing me, and God was humbling me by manipulating circumstances in my life to break my heart and bring me to the very bottom emotionally. I really enjoyed and rejoiced in hearing about how God worked in the lives of the other Christians in drawing them to faith in Christ.

My studying the Bible has continued through the years since I was saved. I rejoice, that in some small ways, that God uses me and other Christians as He controls circumstances in the lives of those He foreknows he can convince to believe in Him and accept Christ as their savior.

David Geminden

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New at this blogging

I am trying to figure out how to operate WordPress. Thankfully, I have a warm blooded walking WordPress encyclopedia, my youngest son, that I can ask questions of.  He is a front-end web developer working for a company called Madwire Media located in Loveland, Colorado.

Hopefully, I will soon become more proficient with this blogging and website operation.  Well, I am going to continue my learning to operate WordPress.  If you visit this sight several times you will probably seen it change with time during my learning curve.

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