This year we have covered the first seventeen chapters of The Gospel According To Matthew.
Matthew chapters 18 and 19 are two crucial chapters of the New Testament. These chapters have the answers (HOW/WHY) church today is NOT creating the value needed to bring about God's Will on earth as it is done in Heaven.
However, people miss the solutions presented by Jesus because they lack the foundational doctrine. We will see most churches today do the OPPOSITE of Matthew chapters 18 and 19.
In order to more fully appreciate the information, we will spend the rest of this month getting foundational background.
Last week we covered First Dimensional sin and Second Dimensional sin. In the previous post, we covered the mind, soul, spirit, and brain. Here is the summary:
You are your Mind/Soul. Your Mind/Soul is Eternal.
This is YOUR First Cause.
EVERYTHING after your choice to think or not think is an EFFECT of your decision. This is YOUR responsibility.
Your flesh desires to be comparative and comfortable.
God, through your spirit, desires you to be contrastive and growing.
Your Mind/Soul casts the deciding vote between God and your flesh.
The Ultimate decision is to realize you are flawed and the ONLY way to be Righteous is for YOU to choose to let God direct your actions. This is GRACE.
Yes, God alone is able to make our actions Good, NOT us. However, this does NOT happen UNLESS we FIRST CHOOSE to let God direct our actions. God cannot cause us to receive GRACE against our will. GOD'S WORD stated grace resists the proud.
THAT FIRST CHOICE IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY.
We can get judged for the choice our Mind/Soul makes.
All three influences (God, flesh, Mind/Soul) battle it out in your Brain.
The battlefield is NOT the Mind...it is the Brain!
We saw Spiritual Warfare takes place in the Brain! Strongholds are in the Brain...NOT the Mind/Soul. Spiritual Warfare is fought with WORDS and THOUGHTS (which are made up of WORDS). The Brain files away information in terms of WORDS.
We are also responsible for the Brain we have. Later during this Series, we will see that EVERYDAY you are choosing the type of Brain you will have tomorrow.
ALL of this justifies God and blames ourselves.
ANY explanation that justifies ourselves will result in blaming God...which is idolatry.
We are now ready to cover Third Dimensional sin...
THIRD DIMENSIONAL SIN
The third dimension is greater than the first two dimensions AND includes the first two dimensions. Likewise, the Third Dimensional sin is greater AND includes the first two dimensions by being the First Cause.
For thousands of years, people have discussed "Free Will", yet you rarely see a definition for "Free Will".
If the definition of "Free Will" is "choice", then the effects of this discussion becomes contradictory...hence, the reason this discussion has continued unresolved for thousands of years. This definition believes we are BOTH limited AND able to choose.
The non-contradictory definition of "Free Will" is "the ability to act apart from one's nature".
Notice, a being without Free Will can still possess "choice" within his nature. God is NOT able to act apart from His Holy Nature...yet He still has choice within His Holy Nature.
Any belief denying "choice" is contradictory and flawed. In fact, it is the definition of Third Dimensional sin. Notice, denying choice results in denying the First Dimensional sin we all have...the response (denial) is the definition of Second Dimensional sin.
The general term for a belief denying choice is "Determinism". In Christianity, this belief is known as "Calvinism"...or more specifically, "sovereignty". I have written extensively about Calvinism in "Modeling God's Wills". The point of this post is not to go over the details of Calvinism, so here are the links if you are interested:
3.1 God's Will
3.2 The Hard Question
3.4 Modern Calvinism
3.8 God's Nature and Personality
3.9 Calvin Summary
Here is a summary of the doctrine of sovereignty according to Calvinism:
"Man is unable to follow God and that only by divine intervention in which God must change their unwilling heart can man be turned from rebellion to willing obedience."
"In this view, all people are entirely at the mercy of God, who would be just in condemning all people for their sins but who has chosen to be merciful to some. One person is saved while another is condemned, not because of a foreseen willingness, faith, or any other virtue in the first person, but because God sovereignly chose to have mercy on him."
Notice Calvinism is founded on the method: God unilaterally changing the individual’s will…their unwilling heart. This conclusion leads to God choosing “some” to go to Heaven…and, in effect, choosing some to go to hell. This doctrine is based on making “omnipotence” into God being “able to do anything” and then giving contradictory explanations for WHY God’s Will (all being saved, kids not dying, etc.) doesn’t happen even though God can do anything.
The point of this post is to realize Calvinism ultimately believes in lack of choice...and this belief is so obviously contradictory that modern day Calvinists CANNOT state what they DO believe...only what they don't believe...that they don't believe completely in Calvinism.
Calvinists attempt to support their beliefs with the Old Testament...which is interesting because there are no Orthodox Jewish Determinists! The people who understand the Old Testament the best DO NOT believe in Determinism!
For example, we have seen people reference "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated" from Romans 9 when supporting Determinism. However, from that post, we saw:
Paul specifically wrote Romans 9:13 was a passage from the Old Testament ("it is written"). The ultimate meaning of the verse ought to come from the context in the Old Testament! Where is this passage in the Old Testament?
Here is the very beginning of Malachi 1:
"1 The burden of the word of Jehovah to Israel by Malachi.
2 I have loved you, saith Jehovah. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother, saith Jehovah: yet I loved Jacob;
3 but Esau I hated, and made his mountains a desolation, and gave his heritage to the jackals of the wilderness.
4 Whereas Edom saith, We are beaten down, but we will return and build the waste places; thus saith Jehovah of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and men shall call them The border of wickedness, and The people against whom Jehovah hath indignation for ever.
5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, Jehovah be magnified beyond the border of Israel.
6 A son honoreth his father, and a servant his master: if then I am a father, where is mine honor? and if I am a master, where is my fear? saith Jehovah of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar. And ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of Jehovah is contemptible.
8 And when ye offer the blind for sacrifice, it is no evil! and when ye offer the lame and sick, it is no evil! Present it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee? or will he accept thy person? saith Jehovah of hosts."
This Malachi passage was between God and Israel...between a father/master and a child/servant. God pointed out He was NOT the CAUSE of Israel's problems! In fact, God said Israel interpreted this verse the same way as the Calvinists...and it was wrong!
God showed Israel they should rejoice they weren't Esau because Esau got judged and wasn't humble enough to respond correctly. However, EVERYTHING God said about Esau (Edom) was an EFFECT of Esau's (Edom's) choices (CAUSE). Edom was going to build apart from God's help and God was going to judge their pride and wickedness.
Then God brought the discussion back to Israel and said they weren't acting like His children...His EFFECTS OF THE COVENANT! Israel was in danger of becoming like Esau if Israel made the same choices as Esau EVEN THOUGH GOD LOVES ISRAEL (Jacob).
The Malachi section concluded with the understanding that God WASN'T going to bless Israel JUST BECAUSE OF WHO THEY ARE. They had to pray and admit they were wrong and CHOOSE to do the right thing!
Does it concern you that Calvinists base their theology on the same wrong understanding that God warned Israel about?
(Excerpt from the >Romans Series.)
Another Old Testament passage that is problematic for Calvinists is II Kings 20:1-6 and concerned Hezekiah.
God told Hezekiah his current illness WILL result in death. Hezekiah prayed. God immediately told Hezekiah he will live. If God knew everything that would ever happen, then God was wrong when He made His statement...or He lied (which contradicts the Bible). There is NO getting around Determinism concluding that God was wrong OR a liar in this passage!!!!!
Here is the explanation:
"Clearly the future hasn't already happened yet, otherwise God was wrong and/or a liar. People who hold to this view regardless of the long and complicated explanation they give are stating their will that they think God was wrong and/or a liar. “Predestination” fails and needs to be discarded."
"The only non-contradictory explanation that is consistent with the entire Bible was that God had a Will for each of us that changes depending on our response. This would make it impossible for God to be wrong because all the responsibility is on us. Notice the word is “impossible”, meaning “not possible”. Some of the explanations from Calvinists say it is possible but God makes sure He isn’t wrong and/or unjust. The Bible tells us there is a higher standard: impossible."
In CS Lewis' last book, "The Discarded Image", Lewis explained when this Deterministic belief was created:
Lewis on Boethius, who lived from 480-524 AD:
"If, as its doctrine of Providence implies, God sees all things that are, were, or will be, uno mentis in ictu, in a single act of mind, and thus foreknows my actions, how am I free to act otherwise than He has foreseen?" (p. 88)
Determinism is a belief created by a man (Boethius) almost 500 years AFTER the Bible was written. No wonder there are no Jewish Orthodox Determinists.
Notice, Determinism ("sovereignty") has great difficulty with two doctrines: Prayer and Evangelism.
What is the point of praying if it is all pre-determined?
What is the point of missionaries if peoples' Salvation is already determined?
Remember, the Unaware Brain works according to all four God-given principles. The conscious brain begins by working according to two God-given principles: causality and non-contradiction. It is OUR CHOICE whether we want the conscious brain to progress towards working according to all four God-given principles...or working according to none of them.
Ultimately, every Calvinists' answer to their contradictory beliefs is: the answer is not contradictory (even though it appears to be) and the answer is not understandable. Basically, Calvinists attempt to convince others to consciously choose NOT to think according to causality and non-contradiction. Calvinism encourages brain damage.
(Post-modernism and Buddhism attempt to do the same thing in the same manner. Buddhism claims the answer is "acontradictory" (meaning that contradiction does not apply) and not understandable.)
Ultimately, a Determinist is justifying themselves and blaming God. Regardless of the lack of explanation, the person whose conclusion is: "it is all up to God and it is our fault" is ACTUALLY justifying themselves and blaming God. This is idolatry. This is serious...
Looking back on the previous post, the Mind/Soul is the First Cause within the individual. The individual CHOOSES to consciously think or not think.
If the individual chooses to think, the RESULT is an effect of CHOICE.
If the individual chooses NOT to think, the RESULT is fate...the individual is limited.
BOTH of these RESULTS occurred in the Bible. Consequently, Determinists and people who believe in choice can BOTH support their beliefs by pointing to EFFECTS in the Bible. However, a belief is a cause...not an effect. Calvinsim is not a belief...it is an effect.
If CHOICE didn't exist at all, then people would not be responsible for their actions and the DETERMINISTS can NEVER get upset at anyone...or attempt to convince, encourage, or educate anyone. This is the Ultimate hypocrisy, which is the Ultimate Second Dimensional sin. If Calvninists are right, they still aren't going to Heaven because they are hypocrites!
If someone attempts to say some choice exists, then CHOICE must be the First Cause, because CHOICE cannot be an effect of Determinism. That is contradictory.
Ultimately, Calvinism attempts to make CHOICE as a cause cease to exist by encouraging you to choose not to believe in choice. This is First Dimensional sin (deny CHOICE as a cause) and a Second Dimensional sin (encouraging others to choose not to believe).
Actually, choosing to believe in Calvinism denies you the effects of choice...it is choosing fate.
In our dispensation, the perfect decision is to let God work through you by the Holy Spirit. The Ultimate decision is to realize you are flawed and the ONLY way to be Righteous is for YOU to choose to let God direct your actions. This is GRACE.
The Holy Spirit is untamed...unpredictable...the OPPOSITE of Deterministic.
We have seen Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit occurs when someone observes a work of the Holy Spirit and credits it to demonic forces.
The Holy Spirit is the Ultimate example of CHOICE.
Claiming someone is being controlled by the enemy is the Ultimate example of Determinism.
Ultimately, denying the ability of the Holy Spirit AND attributing this Ultimate example of CHOICE to the enemy is the worst sin...because it is ultimately a Third Dimensional sin.
Tomorrow, we will look at the Bible to see the effects of believing in Determinism...