Yin Yang, God and the devil: A cosmic chess game?

Yin Yang Socks!

Yin Yang Socks! (Photo credit: M@R©K)

In “Yin Yang dualism, CS Lewis and Christianity,” I examined the question whether Christianity has an equivalent philosophy to Yin Yang? I examined this question in terms of CS Lewis’ discussion of dualism.

Within the Mandala (circle) of Yin Yang, here are two opposite forces of equal power in the universe, a kind of bitheism (two supreme gods), a  kind of cosmic indeterminism, where even the two greatest of all gods don’t know how things are going to PAN out. In certain movements in Christianity (Arminians, but not necessarily all Arminians), there’s a great battle going on between God and the Devil, where God loses some of the battles but ultimately wins the war. The worst for this kind of Christian is to be caught up in one of these battles on the losing side, which does not necessarily involve the ultimate loss – the loss of eternal life, but possibly loss of a job, house, loved one, health, or of one’s earthly life “before one’s time.”

Is it true, though that God and the devil are battling it out for the souls of men – or for whatever? Not at all. The devil is God’s devil. God rules the heavenly as well as the earthly roost. With regard to salvation, we also hear stuff like “God is for you, the devil is against you – you decide.”  This is plain silly. Satan can do nothing without God’s permission; as we read in the Book of Job:

7 And the LORD said unto Satan: ‘Whence comest thou?’ Then Satan answered the LORD, and said: ‘From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ 8 And the LORD said unto Satan: ‘Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a whole-hearted and an upright man, one that feareth God, and shunneth evil?’ 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said: ‘Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not Thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions are increased in the land.

11 But put forth Thy hand now, and touch all that he hath, surely he will blaspheme Thee to Thy face.’12 And the LORD said unto Satan: ‘Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand.’ So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD (Job, 1:7-12).

A very popular book on the God versus the devil theory is “God’s Strategy in Human History” (1976) by Roger Forster and Paul Marston. In his review of the book, John Piper refers to the theme that I am dealing with:

“A great spiritual battle is raging in history now but we may be assured that “the Lord Omnipotent reigns” (109.9) and that evil will be destroyed and the church will be brought to glory (103.5). “So God’s plan is finally achieved; his great project is accomplished.”

For Forster and Marston, there’s certainly no game of cosmic chess going on; no game at all over human souls – it’s all out war. But God is bound to ultimately win because the devil is not as wise or powerful as God. Human beings are no pawns but participants in this battle. Those who choose God find their strength in Him; those who choose the devil, find their strength in the devil.

The central theme of Forster and Marsden is a critique and rejection of the view that “God orders and ordains all things” (41.1), or that “God’s will is always done and is never impeded by the will of any creature” (40.3). See Piper’s full review. Also listen to Curt Daniel’s “Objections to Predestination.”

Yin Yang may play cosmic chess with each other, but the God of the Bible does not play cosmic chess or fight any battles with the devil.

By the way if – at the moment – you’re into Yin and Yang and want to increase your concentration, you can get a free Mandala here. Not to be confused with “Free MandEla.”

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53 thoughts on “Yin Yang, God and the devil: A cosmic chess game?

  1. I agree with you. My personal thoughts on this are that Mankind has willfully fallen, and the horrible things in the world are really the result of sin. I dont know quite what I believe about the adversary and his his wiles, and whether he is able to attack those who are not under the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know satan is also called the deceiver of the nations – so he must be active if he is deceiving. I think that even those that are saved have a relationship with the Lord, need to keep a relationship as close to God as possible, especially during these times.

    • Karen your view is the Bible’s view – sin, which originates in the corrupt will. With regard to the devil/satan, here are a few relevant Bible verses, which you might have read. But it’s always good to remind ourselves that the devil does exist, and that he is a deceiver and destroyer:

      You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
      —John 8:44

      In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
      —2 Corinthians 4:4

      But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
      —2 Corinthians 11:3   

      Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
      —Ephesians 6:11-18   

      Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
      —James 4:7   

      Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
      —1 Peter 5:8-9   

  2. I wrote something a couple of weeks ago & stuck it onto my fridge. It may not seem relevant, but I think it is concerning watching ourselves (as Paul said, to examine ourselves in 2 Cor 13-5) – Anyway, this was concerning Words, and how we use them. Words should be used to build up, and not break down. Its an error we ALL suffer from time to time – we should consider the words we speak before we speak them – rather fewer words, carefully spoken than many words that have not been guarded. In otherwords – one can consider the 2 W’s and an O before speaking… and WEIGH the results up against eachother)

    WHAT am I going to say? (is it really significant enough to bring up?)

    Psalm 19:14; Proverbs 10:19; Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 16:21; Proverbs 17:27; Ecclesiastes 5:2; Ecclesiastes 6:11; Ecclesiastes 9:17; Ecclesiastes 10:12-14

    WHY am i saying that? (what is my heart saying?)

    1 Corinthians 2:12; Psalm 12:1-3; Psalm 17:10; Proverbs 16:1 (Because Only God knows our hearts)Psalm 17:3; Psalm 7:8-9; Psalm 26:2; Psalm 30:12; Psalm 51:17; Psalm 101:5; Psalm 139:23; Proverbs 3:5;

    Proverbs 21:2
    A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.

    (Am I judging anyone out of my own arrogance or self-righteousness? Is that Someone who is not doing what I think is right in my own eyes as bad as the other person who is perhaps outwardly ‘doing what is right’ but may be harbouring thoughts against God or his brother, or who may be harbouring adulterous thoughts or may be conducting business badly and causing people to fall. Only God knows our hearts. The Lord does not say to Test and Try our brothers & sisters. The Lord only says when we see our brothers stumbling to guide them back with kindness & patience. .. the question is What is my Own Heart saying?)

    what will be the OUTCOME of my words? (Anticipate the effects of one’s words)
    Proverbs 12:25; Proverbs 15:28; Proverbs 16:1; Luke 6:44-46;

    Galatians 5:21-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

    9 The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

    10 “I the LORD search the heart
    and examine the mind,
    to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”

    Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version)

    28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    The Lord Jesus Christ preached a gospel of Love and Forgiveness. He spoke kindly to those seeking the Lord with their hearts, event though they may not be in the right place but He spoke very harshly to those who were in a position of teaching of the Law and who burdened others with accusations and rules – those who studied the word of God but who’s hearts had become arrogant and without love.

    .. One must search ones own heart before speaking.

    How crafty Satan is – he Deceives us so craftily, and he has deceived EVERY ONE of us. This is why the Lord has warned us to be alert to the wiles of the adversary.

  3. Karen

    Many deep thoughts. Satan is out to destroy as you say, but as you know, 1 John 4:4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

    Also important to remember: God is not in you in your natural state. The Christian believes that God comes to live in you through faith in Jesus the Messiah/Christ.

    Here is a thought from J.C. Ryle:

    It is not for us to attempt to explain why some receive and believe the Gospel, while others do not. The sovereignty of God in this matter is a deep mystery – we cannot fathom it. But one thing, at all events, stands out in Scripture, as a great practical truth to be had in everlasting remembrance. Those from whom the Gospel is hidden are generally “the wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.” [Isaiah 5:21] Those to whom the Gospel is revealed are generally humble, simpleminded and willing to learn. The words of the Virgin Mary are continually being fulfilled, “He has filled the hungry with good things. He has sent the rich away empty.” (Luke 1:53.)

    • I believe there are spiritual laws. In other words, until Satan and his kingdom is once and for all defeated, God must allow certain things to be as they are. He gave us a free will. I believe it is because He wants us to love Him on our own. Who wants forced love, except Satan? Everything man has thought of, God thought of first. The reason some are healed, and others are not, could very well be in relation to spiritual laws. Maybe one person had a specific bondage in their lives, or unforgiveness they were harboring, and therefore could not be healed, whereas another did not have that. God takes care of His own…but then again, we need to fully be His first. I hate to use this word, because it minimizes things…but it’s the only one I can think of! It’s almost like a big game. I sometimes wonder if our spirits were all in heaven first, and then we came here without having that memory, yet it is alive in our spirits. This is why part of hell is ‘eternity without the presence of God.’ Well, how would it be hell if we never knew it to begin with? You never met me; if I never see you again will you mourn hellishly for me? Not! You’ve never met me anyway. I believe once we give up the body of flesh and enter the spiritual realms (after death) those memories all come back. For those of us who never proved faithful to find Him in this world since we left His presence in heaven before we were born (He gave us clues–the stars in the sky which start with virgo, the virgin birth and end with Leo, the Lion (Jesus..the Lion of the tribe of Judah), as well as messengers along the way, once we die, we will say, “Oops!” But then it’s too late. Back to the original point, God is God of all, Satan included..and nothing happens that God does not permit. It is not to say everything that happens God really desired; for it is not His desire that any should go to hell..the place made for Satan and his army. He is greatly sad for those of us who never serve Him with our hearts. He wants us to love Him, and to choose Him. Great post Bography!

      • Lyn, your
        ”He gave us a free will. I believe it is because He wants us to love Him on our own. Who wants forced love, except Satan?”

        How do you think the above fits in with:

        Ephesians 2

        Made Alive in Christ

        1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

        • Well, when I made the comment, who wants forced love except Satan? I don’t mean to imply Satan wants love…Satan is the opposite love. I was being rhetorical. Satan wants service only so he can take us to hell with him, because he knows this is his future. Sorry, was re reading my comment and had to point that out.

          In regards to the verses above…what I mean by He gave us our free will is that God, unlike Satan, does not force Himself upon us. He desires us to come to Him and to love Him, which is why He allows things to happen, both good and bad, in order to humble us so that we will fall on our knees before Him, realizing we do need Him…so that we will cry out to Him in repentance. He wants us to need Him and to love Him, but not by force.

          We were born into sin naturally, and we have done nothing to deserve God’s forgiveness because we are as filthy rags before the throne of God. But, whereas we lost the ability to stand in the presence of our Lord when Adam and Eve sinned, God gave us that ability back through the death of Jesus by giving us His Holy Spirit, otherwise, we could never be clean enough…because we belonged to Satan. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are automatically adopted as God’s children into the Kingdom of the heavenly family!

          • If a person fails to decide to have faith (I’m using your kind of language; if not, forgive) – where most people decide not to have faith – this must mean that God fails in his purpose to save everyone. You seem to think that God desires to save everyone in the world, not so?

            • I’ve read many of your posts, and you and I agree on most everything, I think. I think we are saying the same things, but using different words here. This is not what I am saying. I am saying that God does not desire any person to go to hell; hell was made for Satan and his minions. However, He gave us our own free will, and so no, He does not fail because it is ultimately our decision where we choose to spend our eternity…He gave that to us. We are the ones woh ultimately fail in the end. Throughout our lives, He speaks to us through other people, His word, music, the beauty that He created we see around us, and more. If we just keep rejecting His truths and keep ignoring the knock at our door, then ultimately, we send ourselves to the place of eternal separation, suffering, and damnation by allowing Lucifer/Satan to be our God. I am only trying to say that God does not force us to do anything; Satan, the father of lies, attempts to deceive us and force us into wrongful decisions through deception(s). God does not. And then we decide who to, and who NOT to listen to. We may get hit from all sides, but we have to make up our minds whose voice we are and are not going to give heed to. God never fails. He is God, and He is perfect, and all of His ways are perfect, though we cannot yet understand. The mind of God is unfathomable, and even the greatest prophets and Kings in the Bible had questions and could never fully understand. King David in His Psalms was always crying out, “Hello God…can you hear me? Where are you? Don’t You see my suffering? I don’t understand; why are you allowing me to go through this? I love You! I am loyal to You! Why?” (That’s putting it in my own words…obviously). Even sinful things God can take and turn around for the good, for those who love Him. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” As I said, I think we are saying things differently, but overall, share the same beliefs. 🙂

                • You’re welcome; thank you for yours. Did you get a chance to read the excerpt from my book about Jesus on His way to the cross? I tried to bring out His suffering, and His great love, even for those who hated Him, in that part of the book. Was curious if it stirred any emotion?

                • 1 Timothy 2:1-15 ESV

                  First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, …

                  • The words “all” and “world” in the Bible, as anywhere else, may have many meanings. This is a big topic. Briefly, here is John Owen:

                    1. “He doth not say that Christ died for all that were dead; but only, that all were dead which Christ died for: which proves no more than this, that all they for whom Christ died for were dead.”

                    2. But that Christ, in his obedience, death, and sacrifice, was a public person, and stood in the room and stead of all and every one in the world, of all ages and times (that is, not only of his elect and those who were given unto him of God, but also of reprobate persons, hated of God from eternity; of those whom he never knew, concerning whom, in the days
                    of his flesh, he thanked his Father that he had hid from them the mysteries of salvation; whom he refused to pray for; who were, THE GREATEST PART OF THEM, already damned in hell, and irrevocably gone beyond the limits of redemption, before he actually yielded any obedience), is to us such a monstrous assertion as cannot once be apprehended or thought on without horror or detestation. P. 189

                    (John Owen “The death of death” – worth reading. Free on the web).

                    Every drop of Christ’s blood saves. His purpose will stand. If His purpose is to save everybody, then His purpose fails. No sinner can believe in Christ before He unchains their bondage through regeneration. Christ dies not merely woos, he wins – every time.

                    • Purposing to save everybody and desiring are two different things. I might do something and desire that it brings peace to an entire group of people; however, I might know when I do it that it will only bring peace to one person in the group; and it is that one person who makes it all worth it, and therefore by even that one, I have fulfilled what I set out to do. The Bible repetitively says that Hell was not made for us, and that God does not ‘desire’ that one of us should go to hell; it was made for Satan and his dark angels. However, as I mentioned before, God desires, but it is up to our own free will He gave to us. He wants us to come to Him on our own, and to willingly love Him. Those who do have fulfilled the purpose, and those who do not have failed…God has not failed. Constantly throughout God’s word, we see the contrast of the ‘one’ lost sheep, or the prodigal son, for example…God never fails. He made us in His image. I would not want someone to love me because I had the power to possess them to do so, or to force them to; what love would that be? Even if I had the power to make everyone love me, the love would mean nothing if they did. If there were 50 people I could force to love me, not one of those 50 people’s love would touch me in my heart because I would know I made it happen. However, if 1 or 2 of the 50 people loved me on their own, despite circumstances and hurts, the love of those 1 or 2 would mean so much more to me than ‘making’ all 50 love me at once…and if those 2 out of the fifty had originally loved me, but then walked away and cursed me…how much more the joy when they, on their own because I loved them and waited for them with open, welcoming arms….how much more would that love mean to me…it would be most special. Everything you are writing here, I am agreeing with…I’m not sure if I’m being understood properly though because as I read your words, I agree, but I feel as if maybe you might be taking me wrong? I’m not sure.

                    • Lyn

                      How do you understand these verses?

                      John 1:12-13
                      many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

                      Romans 9:15-16
                      For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

                    • Why don’t you tell me exactly what you’re trying to say that you feel that I am not saying, and then this would be easier. I agree with your article above here, and for some reason I think you are thinking in my posts that I feel differently. Or maybe I am misunderstanding you.

                      God is in charge of everything, including Lucifer and his band of nasty brothers; however, God allows Lucifer and his kingdom to do the things they do because these things must all happen so that prophecy will be fulfilled. God is the Alpha, the Omega, the Beginning, and the End; the great I AM is He.

                      God has the keys to life, and the keys to death, and He gave Lucifer a certain amount of authority over death until finally, once and for all, Lucifer’s reign is over.

                      I go back to the book of Job in my mind, where God already knows that Job will remain loyal to him; nonetheless, God ‘allows’ Lucifer to test Job for a time, but he is not allowed to take his physical life from him. Job went through great suffering and torment, lost his loved ones, but was an upright, righteous man before God.

                      Who was ultimately in control here? Job? Lucifer? God? God, of course! God only gave Lucifer his power for a time in order to prove a point; but not just to Job and his friends, but to everyone in the future for many generations who would read the book of Job as an example in their life of their own suffering–a testimony.

                      God holds all of the power. Lucifer does not; he is only given the power he has by God…for a time. Us? I picture now the old cartoons with the devil on one shoulder, and the angel on the other; which voice shall we choose to listen to? We will choose, but it is up to us who. God does grieve for us when we make the wrong ones, because He loves us dearly, and God is love, after all.

                    • Oh, and I apologize, but do you have any idea why my posts aren’t appearing properly here? They are narrow and long instead of in normal paragraphy form. I wasn’t sure why it was doing that. Thanks! 🙂

                      And, I forgot to mention, I just ordered a Jewish Bible in English (it is by Howard Stern). All of the Books are in the proper order and there is no separation between the old and the new testament. Also, the Bible most Christians read isn’t as accurate because of the wrong interpretation of words translated from Heb/Greek to English and because of Jewish prejudices by the interpretors of that time. This is a Messianic Jewish Bible, so it acredits Jesus Christ as the Messiah; not the Orthodox Jewish Torah, who are still looking for the Messiah. I am excited to read it! It’s supposed to arrive anytime! I think all of us should read the original; we’d get a lot more out of it.

                      Here is the better way to explain it; I copied this from my post about it on my site:

                      The complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern

                      Why is this Bible different from all other Bibles? Because it is the only English version fully Jewish in style and presentation. It includes Dr. Stern’s new version of the “Tanakh” (“Old Testament“) and his highly acclaimed “Jewish New Testament.”The Complete Jewish Bible:

                      – follows the Hebrew Bible order of the Tanakh’s books, the order with which Yeshua (Jesus) was familiar – makes no separation between “Old” and “New” Testaments – corrects misinterpretations in the New Testament resulting from anti-Jewish theological bias – offers the original Hebrew names for people, places, and concepts, using easy-to-read English transliterations – focuses on Messianic prophecy – gives the traditional weekly and holiday synagogue readings, plus relevant readings from the “B’rit Hadashah” (New Testament)

                      The Complete Jewish Bible:

                      – reconnects Christians with their Jewish roots and the Jewish people – connects Jews with the Jewishness of Messiah Yeshua and Messianic faith

                      Other features of this Bible: a comprehensive introduction, a pronouncing explanatory glossary, a reverse glossary, and special maps to aid Bible understanding.

                    • Lyn, with regard to the long stringy format of the comments, I had to change my theme.

                      When you get your Messianic Bible, I’m looking forward your comparisons between Stern’s translation and others, the NASB and the ESV for example.

                    • How do I write any differently? I just fill in the post comment section and hit post comment. What do you mean ‘stringy?’ Sounds like something nasty Karen, for example, has some nice messages in length here, but hers appear in normal form. I will try and make my posts a bit shorter; although difficult for me since I’m a writer. Sorry about that. Wouldn’t want you to have to change your theme because I write too much! I got the Bible today, as a matter of fact, and it reads very well. I have an ESV Bible, NIV, New King James, HCSB, Scofield King James, and the New Living Translation, and I must say, it reads absolutely wonderful. Everything flows well, and it has the original Hebrew names of places and people with the English next to it; for example, Jonah is Yonah (it is across the room from me now, so I may not be spelling that correctly.) It also has a lot of study guides to help. Very worth the money! And I feel better knowing the interpretation of the words is the original Jewish, instead of King James, who was actually a rotten and nasty man; the only thing he ever did right was get the Bible interpreted and put it into a book form. I’ve already read through the Bible a few times, but now I have a reason to do it all over again, and it’ll be like new!

                      Do, by the way, let me know please what you mean by, “Long STRINGY format” so that I can fix that. You should have just told me not to do whatever it was I was doing if it was messing up your webpage here. Again, I apologize; no stringiness from me. 😉

                    • There is nothing jinxed about your comments. One of mine is also stringy. It seems to be the last few comments on this post only. I’m trying to rectify it by testing other themes.

                    • Really…ewww…I like this. I used to have this one, and you can change the colors on it too if you want. I think it’s called Cocoa or something. Anyway, I have an article in my older posts you should read. It’s just a curiosity of mine to do with the garden. I would like your opinion..but I’m not sure if you’ll read any of my stuff because you’re like me, busy with your own! Here’s the link. http://lynleahz.com/2012/05/19/did-they-actually-eat-fruit-from-the-trees/ Again, it’s just a theory, or an idea. Interesting, nonetheless. Tell me what you think, please. I’ve had no posts from you yet, and it seems as though I have flooded your site with many! Thanks!

                    • So in your own words, in plain english here, what ‘exactly’ are you trying to say you believe about salvation, Yeshua, Adonai, and Lucifer? I know what the Bible says, but what is bography saying?

                    • As you said, we heve the same, well almost, theology. The “almost” concerns how we come to salvation. I believe that there is only one kind of grace, namely, the grace that saves (to the uttermost). Here is some scripture.

                      Ephesians 2:5-6
                      When we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

                      And

                      Ephesians 2:8-10
                      By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

                      You are saying that “dead in sins” means “deadish,” that is, you, in this state, still have the ability to decide to be quickened raised to life. You have the final vote. God gives you (and all those who hear the Gospel) sufficient grace to make up your mind. The rest is up to you.

                      In a nutshell, for you “by grace are you saved by faith and THAT not of yourselves means, means that grace is a gift but faith is what you do, not what Christ gives you. The “THAT ” in “that not of yourselves” must grammatically refer at a minimum to the immediate antecedent faith). We know, however, that grace is always a gift of God. Besides, “THAT” is neuter in the Greek, which indicates that “THAT” refers to the whole phrase (saved by) “grace through faith.”

                      For you, it seems, the progression is faith then regeneration. For me, (Ephesians is saying) I was regenerated and then was given (the gift of faith). God freed my will, and I became free indeed. There is no “divine rape” of my soul in THAT.

                      I’ve written a dozen or more posts on this issue under the category of “Armininianism and Calvinism).”

                • Here is what I believe, and it is explained better in my posts. I believe we are saved by the grace of God, as you put it. However, I do not believe that once saved, always saved; I do not believe that God leaves us, but we leave Him and walk away. So the question would be, not can you lose your salvation, but were you really saved to begin with? I always use this example. If I come and give you a car as a gift, and I even write gift on the title so that you owe no taxes on it; it is a gift, and I have given it to you. Now, you are responsible for maintaining the car I’ve given you, and I’ll even help you do that because I’m just that nice of a person. I’ll help you with the oil changes, brakes, transmission flushes…tires…you name it, I’ll help out. But you have to take the car to get these things done when it needs done; if you don’t take care of the car I’ve gifted to you, it becomes ineffective and therefore falls apart. Eventually, if you don’t take care of it, It will breakdown and stop working altogether.

                  What I’m saying here is that God gave us this gift, and He helps us with the gift; but woe unto us that treat His special gift like a rag doll that we trample under foot. Furthermore, He is always ready to forgive us, WHEN WE ARE TRULY SORRY. We will never be perfect, and we will always make mistakes. What I am referring to is the condition of living in unrepentance and outright disobedience without acknowledgemnet, remorse, or any attempt at all to get out of it…even crying out, “God help me with this!” No attempt with that either.

                  I am also saying that so many ‘Christians’ are not taking their salvation seriously enough. Do we not realize that to get saved is to marry ourselves to the Lord? And to serve another master is spiritual adultery and fornication? Please do not get me wrong; I am not speaking of being perfect, for I am furthest from perfection. God knew how hard it was, and that we could never be clean and pure enough on our own, so He sent Jesus to go with us on this journey called Salvation.

                  The problem is with many people today (…their conscience’s being seared with a hot iron…), where is the repentance? Not the, “I’m sorry Lord….” and ooops, do it again…and again….and again…and so forth…I mean real, hardcore repentance…on your knees with conviction, earnestly asking the Father in the name of His Son, Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit to come down and rest upon you…to deliver you from this thing.

                  Although King David isn’t our example, Jesus was; God gave King David ‘as an example’. He had a heart after God Himself, and God truly adored King David…but David committed adultery, lust, murder, deception…and God did forgive David, yet David still had to take responsibility for what He did.

                  When King David took the census, this angered God, who said, “David, have I not always provided you with a spiritual host of troops? Have I not always made you victorious over the enemy? When then do you show such distrust in me by numbering the able bodied men?” (My words, by the way; not a quote.) God still forgave David because he was truly repentant, yet David still had to pay the piper…God gave him three choices from a short list of unpleasantries.

                  God chastens after us, and sometimes we must lose everything if that’s what brings us to true repentance. After all, our soul is much more important than a body that only lives such a short time…our soul is what will spend eternity in heaven, or in hell. If the loss of something great in this life means eternal life at the feet of our glorious creator, then this is what matters most to Him. Now to us, that’s a different story..but to God; He understands because He knows what’s going on. He’s God.

                  “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
                  “All liars, fornicators, adulterers, etc. shall have their place in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.”
                  “Not everyone who cries out, ‘Lord! ‘Lord!’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Sorry I am not putting the actual book and chapter and verse here, but quoting those from memory.)

                  So, once again; the question is NOT, “Does God take away salvation?” Or, “Is God an Indian giver?” Heavens no, is my answer. The question is, as I’ve said, “Were you serious when you called upon Him? Did you really, truly understand the commitment of salvation, and what it means to follow Jesus?”

                  For we cannot serve two masters. Either we belong to the one, or the other. Who is it going to be?

                  • I agree with you and the apostle James that faith without living out the commands of God is dead, which indicates that you are not saved. But, if you are truly saved (salvation is of the Lord) you will remain saved, you WILL be raised on the last day.

                    John 6:37-40,44,65 (see also 17:1-2,6,9,24)

                    “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. And 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. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. . . . No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. . . For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.’

                    • So we’re, in a sense, saying almost the same thing. As I said, the question is, was the person truly saved to begin with? I believe we can cry out to God in a time of sorrow or emotion, yet not really mean it overall in our lives, or not understand what we’re really doing. To be saved is a covenant..a committment between two parties….God (YHVH, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit=ONE), and the person accepting Salvation. He keeps His part by giving you the gift and being with you, and you keep your part by obeying Him (loving Him). If a person, for the most part, thinks he/she is saved and continues living, walking, breathing, and talking like the rest of the world, and overall there is no difference, I can’t fathom that he/she was ever truly saved to begin with. However, if someone wants to be saved, truly, though we do walk away from time to time and we do sin from time to time, then we are saved by His grace. I believe so many people use salvation as a free ticket to heaven, and that’s all it is. “Ooop, I’m saved! I can go around sinning all I want to…and I’m saved! Still going to heaven!” Not! Paul even says God forbid to such a statement. Salvation is not merely a pardon by God to allow us to be like the world and still have a place in line at the throne room in heaven. Sure, we’ll get a place in line for judgment, but that’s it. This is the people I am speaking of. The ones who do not change at all, and in whose heart there is no circumcision…there is no death of the old man of sin. I am not speaking of those who are truly sorry for something they keep doing, and they are earnestly trying and calling out to God…yet they keep battling and battling….

                    • If one is TRULY saved…then yes, because they will no longer live like the world. They will struggle because they are in a body of flesh, and in the world; but they will not be one with the world. They will be separate. “Be ye separate.” However, there are many who believe they are saved, and they are not. There has been no circumcision of their heart. You can’t put new wine into old wineskins, or the wineskins will burst.

  4. oh dont worry .. Rather,

    Yes – so we don’t need to fear satan because God is greater than the deciever, but we need to watch ourselves that we dont lose track and unwittingly become decieved through backsliding from Gods word and losing sight on what we should be focused on, which is God. Like this, how often do I do something that may be good – and then feel like I want to tell everyone.. then stop myself & say why do I want to do that? What are my motivations? What is it going to achieve? What will be the outcome of what was done? Is it to show everyone how great I am & how good this thing was that I did? It would cheapen the action.

    Ive done so much creationist research & have gotten into “arguments” with people (even fellow christians) where Ive had to stop myself and say – why am I arguing? Is it becoming a pride thing? Like, trying to prove MY point. Should I not listen, go home, pray about it, search Gods word and then see if my argument is in line with what He requires.

    Ive also felt like getting into arguments over stupid things, even with Bible study – like, whether Jonah’s prayer that is recorded in Jonah 2 v17 was actually his first or second prayer (I think its his 2nd prayer of thanksgiving – reflecting on his first cry to God when he was drowning) – but if I carried on arguing about it, I would leave a bad taste in the mouth of my fellow christian, who is a good person – and how do I know how the unneccessary argument may negatively affect that persons walk?

    So I can put my thoughts/opinion out there, as well as my reasons for those thoughts and leave it. Because, if I weigh it up – an agressive approach is going to cause much damage to that person & any other people around at the time – potentially so much more damage that could ever be justified – to both myself as well as others.

    So, although we who eagerly seek God and who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior & the Son of God, are covered by the blood of the Lamb – we must keep ourselves humble & contrite and take heed of what the Word of God says, and if we tresspass our brothers through our own hotheadedness, we need to cover ourselves and ask forgivness of our brothers.

    Because, Only GOD sees the heart and unless our brother/sister is causing others to fall (in which case we would approach them privately with kindness and patience.. well, look it up – God tells us how it is to be done) we need to examine our words/motivation & Outcomes first before speaking.

  5. My issue is this:

    If “God” created and allows all things… then “God” also created Satan and the potential to become Evil. The potential must have existed within “God” at least as a thought/possibility or it never would have come into existence.

    Another way to word it is: How could something “imperfect” come from something “perfect”?

    • Hot dog that’s a good question!
      You’re onto something FF–and I don’t mean french fries. “God” created (creates, in the Hebrew, meaning continuously, in the present tense) the world and everything in it with His uniquely unlimited power and goodness. How then can the Christian concept be right that Satan, completely aware of G-d’s uniquely infinite power, could rationally endeavor to overthrow Him, and get away with it for all this time?

      • Not only that, Frank Furter, but bography has also taken the liberty of hacking off chunks of my response to you in my note above.

        • Anon

          I censure only those bits that contain foul or uncouth language, or which attack the man rather than focusing on the topic. You were banned from the Roshpinaproject site for this very reason. I know that some sites ban a person for any comment that disagrees with their view, no matter how gentle and respectful one is, which has happened to me.

          There are a plethora of web sites that are no more than raving outlets. I’d like to keep mine clean and focused. Anyone who reads your many responses can see that I am not averse to strong opposition, which, of course, I welcome.

          By the way I also censured Frank Furter’s foul four-letter language. One thing I can say for you, Anon, you don’t resort to four letter words. I don’t mind words like “four,” though.

  6. Oh, I see…because I’m not writing these messages as I would a book, for example, or a letter. I’m not spacing in between my paragraphs..I’m just making it one long paragraph. Okay. I’ll just write these like I’m writing a book or an email to someone.

    I am truly sorry for making a mess of your lovely site, but I do believe I know what you mean now by ‘stringy’. On these blogs, unlike when I’m writing a novel, I just type and type with no breaks in between, just to hurry and get it down I guess, and going so fast, I don’t realize how long it is.

    Never mind the last question in my last post. I looked at Karen’s and yours, and I see what the problem is. If you want to delete everything I’ve written up to this point because of that, I won’t be offended. Please do so your web page doesn’t look so cluttery.

    Once again, I’m sorry, and thanks for the patience with a person who is only 4 weeks old, approximately, at blogging.

  7. One more thing, I actually downloaded my theme, but I changed it and used a free program called gimp; it’s like photoshop…to make my own banner. It looks nothing like the original. I also used my own background and all of that. So basically, i made it, in a sense. I do like this one, however; nice and clean looking, easy to read.

  8. On the subject of the Jewish Bible you inquired about, here is an example of how well it reads. Compare. Mishlei(Proverbs) 8:1-14 “Wisdom is calling! Understanding is raising her voice! On the heights along the road, where the paths meet, she is standing; by the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud:

    ‘People, I am calling you, raising my voice to all mankind. You who don’t direct your lives, understand caution; as for you, you fools, get some common sense!

    “Listen! I will say worthwhile things; when I speak, my words are right. My mouth says what is true, because my lips detest evil. All the words fromm y mouth are righteous; nothing false or crooked is in them. They are all clear to those who understand and strightforward to those who gain knowledge. Receive my instruction, rather than silver; knowledge, rather than the finest gold. For wisdom is better than pearls; nothing you want can compare with her.

    “I, wisdom, live together with caution; I attain knowledge and discretion. The fear of Adonai is hatred of evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil ways and duplicitous speech. Good advice is mine, and common sense; I am insight, power is mine.”

    Romans 9:14-28 *you’ll like this one!* “So are we to say, “It is unjust for God to do this”? Heaven forbid! For to Moshe (Moses) He says, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will pity whom I pity.” Thus it doesn’t depend on human desires or efforts, but on God, who has mercy. For the Tanakh says to Pharoah, “It is for this very reason that I raised you up, so that in connection with you I might demonstrate my power, so that my name might be known throughout the world.” So then, he has mercy on whom he wants, and he hardens whome he wants.

    “But you will say to me, “Then why does he still find fault with us? After all, who resists His will?” Who are you, a mere human being, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to him who formed it, “Why did you make me this way?” Or has the potter no right to make from a given lump of clay this pot for honorable use and that one for dishonorable? Now what if God, even though He was quite willing to demonstrate His anger and make konwn His power, patiently put up with people who deserved punishment and were ripe for destruction? What if He did this in order to make known the riches of His glory to those who are the objects of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory–that is, to us, whom He called not only from among the Jews but also from among the Gentiles? As indeed He says in Hoshea, “Those who were not My people I will call My people; here who was not loved I will call loved; and in the very place where they were told, ‘You are not My people,’ there they will be called sons of the living God!”

    “But Yesha ‘yahu (Isaiah), referring to Isra’el, cries out,

    “Even if the number of people in Isra’el is as large as the number of grains of sand by the sea, only a remnant will be saved. For Adonai will fulfill His word on the earth with certainty and without delay.”

    I love it! It is as if I am unlocking a mystery because this is the right translation! Wonderful! I am excited!

      • Nothing in particular..I just picked something out of it to post for you so you could see how it reads..that’s all. I won’t be able to tell you what all is exactly better until I have had a chance to sit down and study it in depth. I just got it today. So far, it is a smoother read, and makes more sense, and it is closer to the original Hebrew translation, unlike King James. I don’t know if you’ve even looked at my site yet, but there is a post all about why it is better…you’ll have to read it. It’s not very long. I posted you some detail earlier. Me personally, I cannot yet tell you because I haven’t had it but for less than half a day! So far, it’s really interesting from the flipping throuhg I’ve done. But on your question, i just picked that verse because it was in front of my face on the computer screen from where you posted it and put it on there so you could see the wording. I hadn’t had a thought in comparison, to be honest. The other passage, I just randomly flipped to and posted. Was just trying to answer your interest at the time. 😉

    • I wanted you to compare for yourself to see what you thought; I had not yet compared anything. Was too busy studying the Hebrew pronunciations of stuff in the beginning! It was the best I could do since at that time when I posted this, I’d only had it less than one hour!

      • How would you paraphrase Romans 9:22 (Messianic Bible translation)?
        Now what if God, even though He was quite willing to demonstrate His anger and make known His power, patiently put up with people who deserved punishment and were ripe for destruction?

        • I don’t know if I’m answering this correctly, but here goes. God throughout time has tolerated people’s disobedience, to a point. We see clearly Sodom and Gommorrah (I know I am mis-spelling this probably), we see the flood and Noah’s ark, we see the various things that happened to Israel for their disobedience…the Old Testament reveals to us the God of wrath and of war…the God who doesn’t put up with sinfulness and disobedience. Then, through Jesus, we see the humble, compassionate God; even though Jesus became angry at sin, such as when the people were selling things in the temple. But God has given us this contrast of His personality–love and anger…and in all, both are an expression of the love He has for His people.

          As far as God putting up with people’s disobedience and corruption–He’s been doing it for years and years now because the state of this world is ten times worse than what is describe in Sodom and Gommorrah… It goes back to what you were saying; God only allows Satan to get away with murder, literally, for a time. Satan knows His time is near, but he probably denies it to himself since he is the father of lies. God knows how all things must be, and has His perfect plan, and perfect reasons for things.

          But I think God has about had enough. I believe, wholeheartedly, this generation shall see Jesus coming in the clouds for His people…His beloved…

          I have a theory, or a curiosity about all of this that fits in with what you’re saying. But I don’t know if you want me to tell you. If I do, remember that it is only a curiosity, not something I know for certain to be true.

          I wonder if our spirits were in heaven first…all of us. Well, after Lucifer and 1/3 of the angels rebelled, God decided to prune the kingdom; sift through the ones who truly loved Him and were obedient to Him, and the ones who were not. The only way to do this was to send us on down to the earth in a body of flesh, just like Jesus in a sense, where we would have no memory, although our spirit remembers everything, and the memories return once we are released from our physical body. Throughout our lives, He would give us direction, send us people to tell us, and remind us in ways. Those of us who would once again find Him, and have enough faith to believe and trust Him are the obedient. But those who just kept/keep on denying Him and not trusting Him would be the disobedient ones…

          Here’s how I picture it (just so you know what I mean.); Imagine a ship sitting there next to the dock. There’s a line of people standing there, and before each climbs aboard, God personally stands there to see each one off.

          One of the spirits earnestly promises God, “Father, I will be back! I’m going to miss you so much! I promise that I shall be back! I love you!”

          God softly smiles, holding back the tear in His eye; for He already knows who will be back, and who will not. He knows that once on earth, all is forgotten in the brain of flesh. “I love you son. Be strong and go in faith!”

          The spirit smiles up at Him as He gives the Lord one more hug goodbye. “Yes Lord. I love you, and I’ll see you soon!”

          Only moments later, a baby boy is conceived in the womb of his mother. One day, he grows up and goes to church, and he seems to understand the passage in the Bible that we are to weep at birth, and rejoice when a believer goes home to the Lord; yet he can’t understand. To him, death is horrible and ugly, and birth is newness and excitement.

          Little does he know, He stood next to the Lord only several years ago, weeping at the fact of having to leave the presence of his Father. Little does he know, he will never find God; rather, in his future, he will become the head of a major pornography chain, and he will die without ever really knowing Christ, therefore spending eternity in hell. The Lord will send him witnesses, prophets, and all sorts of signs, but he will refuse to accept or believe. He will shun them all off in anger and bitterness.

          __________
          So, back to my point, the Bible says God knew us before we were formed in the womb of our mother. It also says that hell is the eternal separation from God…or part of the suffering there is anyway; so, how would it be suffering to be eternally away from someone we never knew to begin with? We had to have known how glorious it was to be in His presence at one time to suffer without it.

          If my scenario is true, we were made to love and worship Him; just as Jesus is His word, and the Holy Spirit His hands, we are His feet–His messengers, His support. Are we not always seen throughout the Bible kneeling at His feet? Is the earth not His footstool? Anyhow, since we were made to love Him, He wanted us to love HIm on our own; to choose Him. At the same time, He wants to weed out the good, the bad, and the ugly in the Kingdom….to see who will remain loyal and true.

          It may or may not be true, but it is an interesting concept nonetheless. I also believe that maybe God showed us different aspects of our lives on the different roads we might choose, but we only remember in our spirits. Furthermore, we have this great thing called DNA; it’s our story stitched into us…and no one else has one that’s like ours–they’re all unique! Just like our fingerprint. According to Isaiah, I think it is..I can’t remember, everyone of us is in God’s fingerprint, or something like that.

          Not sure, but have you ever heard of laminin? Look it up. It’s shaped like a cross, and it is the molecule in our bodies that holds us together like glue….think about this! The cross of Jesus is in our bodies, and it holds us together! Look it up. Louie Giglio did a wonderful message on it; it’s in the message How Great Is Our God, and it’s quite humbling.

          I have to go to work! God bless you!

          • Your theory about our souls “being in heaven first,” is also a kabbalistic belief expounded in its core text “the Zohar,” where the Jewish soul – and no one else’s – is “a piece of God above.” Eastern religions hold that not only all humans but all of nature are pieces of God.

            With regard to your Giglio reference and DNA I wrote a critique of it https://onedaringjew.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/man-the-not-so-very-dna-image-of-god-a-critique-of-louie-giglios-great-is-our-god/

            None of these theories are biblical. I have to say they are unbiblical. Giglio is good in parts but he has, I believe, gone off the rails on the DNA issue as I argued in the piece (not of God) above.

            • I said it was just a curiosity/theory..that maybe our spirits were ‘in’ heaven with God first. And they are ‘un’ biblical because there is nothing in the Bible to support it other than the verse in the OT where it says that He knew us before we were formed in our mother’s wombs, and the thing about hell being eternal separation from the Father. However, like it said, it was only a curiosity,not necessarily a belief of mine. Haven’t you ever had things you wondered about that weren’t in the Bible? I only shared it because it was interesting, not because I feel it is necessarily true. I do not, however, share in any new age, eastern cults, or beliefs of false religions. Nor did I know this was some other religions beliefs. About being part of God, you mistook me I think. He created us and breathed His breath into our nostrils, thus giving us life; so in an sense, we are a part of Him, for it was His breath that gave us life. As far as that EVERYONE lived in Him somewhere, or some mystical stuff like that, I do not believe this.

              • Lyn your

                “the verse in the OT where it says that He knew us before we were formed in our mother’s wombs…”

                Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

                God doubly loved Zechariah. I explain.

                First, the “knew” here refers to Zecharia alone and should not be universalised to all human beings. Second, “knew” here means “loved.” it has to do with God’s sovereign choice of an individual; if you like, God “elected” to love Zacharia in a special way distinguishable from his love for the Israelites, his elect people (“AM” in Hebrew).

                • Okay Mr. Smartypants…you win! Are you happy now for once? LOL! You awoke at 2 or 3, or whatever time it was, in the morning to prove me wrong! I hope you sleep better now! I already always wondered about that verse because God was talking to him..can we relate verses to individuals in the Bible to ourselves as well? Or is it hit or miss? For example, Jesus was talking to the disciples in the Bible, yet we all take these verses for ourselves as well.

                  • There is time, space (place) and entities/beings. In our case the entity is people (of the Bible). One of the common errors and difficulties of biblical interpretation is misapplying any of these to a later time, place, person. We get our “typology” wrong. Two of the infamous areas in this regard are “cessasionism” (of the gifts) and replacement theology (the Church is Israel).

                    It is now 7 am, and I am, if not wide-eyed, bushy-tailed.

                    • And it’s bedtime here…so sad we’re on opposite schedules! I’m off to bed! Thank you for explaining this to me. You’re very insightful, bright, and bushy-tailed! I’m glad you slept well. I will be back tomorrow..my tomorrow, however, is your today! Think about that…

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