2 Corinthians 4:3-4

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by SovereignGrace, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. SovereignGrace

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    This two verse passage has been debated to pieces. I went and read what Adam Clarke, a well respected free will believing Methodist had to say. I am not entirely sure I agree with what he posted, but he did make a compelling argument that 'the god of this world' is not Satan, but God.

    Verse 3

    But if our gospel be hid:
    Κεκαλυμμενον· Veiled; he refers to the subject that he had treated so particularly in the conclusion of the preceding chapter. If there be a veil on the Gospel, it is only to the wilfully blind; and if any man's heart be veiled that hears this Gospel, it is a proof that he is among the lost, απολλυμενοι, those who are fully under the power of sin; who have given up themselves to work wickedness; persons who are mere heathens, or live like such, and yet such as Jesus Christ came to seek and save; for the word does not necessarily imply those that will perish eternally, but is a common epithet to point out a man without the Gospel and without God in the world. Christ commands his disciples in preaching the Gospel to go to προβατα τα απολωλοτα, the Lost sheep of the house of Israel; Matthew 10:6; for himself says, Matthew 18:11, and Luke 19:10; : The Son of man is come ζητησαι και σωσαι το απολωλος, to seek and to Save that which is Lost. And such persons he represents under the parable of the lost sheep; for to find το απολωλος, that which is Lost, the good shepherd leaves the ninety-and-nine in the wilderness, and goes in search of it; Matthew 18:12; Luke 15:4. The word more properly signifies, in all those connections, and in the parallel passages, not those who Are Lost, but those who are perishing; and will perish, if not sought and saved.

    Verse 4
    In whom the god of this world, etc:
    We see here that those whose minds are blinded, are they who believe not; and because they believe not, their minds continue in darkness, and are proper subjects for Satan to work on; and he deepens the darkness, and increases the hardness. But who is meant by the god of this world? It is generally answered, the same who is called the prince of this world, John 16:11. But the question recurs, who is the prince of this world? and the answer to both is, Satan. The reader will do well to consult the notes on John 12:31, and the concluding observations on John 14:30. I must own I feel considerable reluctance to assign the epithet ὁ Θεος, The God, to Satan; and were there not a rooted prejudice in favor of the common opinion, the contrary might be well vindicated, viz. that by the God of this world the supreme Being is meant, who in his judgment gave over the minds of the unbelieving Jews to spiritual darkness, so that destruction came upon them to the uttermost. Satan, it is true, has said that the kingdoms of the world and their glory are his, and that he gives them to whomsoever he will; Matthew 4:8, Matthew 4:9. But has God ever said so? and are we to take this assertion of the boasting devil and father of lies for truth? Certainly not. We are not willing to attribute the blinding of men's minds to God, because we sometimes forget that he is the God of justice, and may in judgment remove mercies from those that abuse them; but this is repeatedly attributed to him in the Bible, and the expression before us is quite a parallel to the following, Isaiah 6:9; : Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the Heart of this People Fat, and Make their Ears Heavy, and Shut their Eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, etc. And see the parallel places, Matthew 13:14, Matthew 13:15; Mark 4:12; John 12:40; and particularly Romans 11:8-10; : God Hath Given Them the Spirit of Slumber, Eyes that they Should not See, and Ears that they Should not Hear; let their Eyes be Darkened, etc. Now all this is spoken of the same people, in the same circumstances of wilful rebellion and obstinate unbelief; and the great God of heaven and earth is he who judicially blinds their eyes; makes their hearts fat, i.e. stupid; gives them the spirit of slumber: and bows down their back, etc. On these very grounds it is exceedingly likely that the apostle means the true God by the words the god of this world.
    And as to the expression this world, αιωνος τουτου, we are not to imagine that it necessarily means wicked men, or a wicked age; for it is frequently used to express the whole mundane system, and all that is called time: Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither εν τουτῳ τῳ αιωνι, in This World, nor in the world to come; Matthew 12:32. In Luke 20:34, the children, υἱοι του αιωνος τουτου, of This World, mean simply mankind at large in their state of probation in this lower world, in opposition to their state in the world to come. The same meaning the word has in several other places, to which l need not refer; it simply implying the present state of things, governed by the Divine providence, in contradistinction from the eternal state: and it is very remarkable that, in 1 Timothy 1:17, God himself is called Βασιλευς των αιωνων, the King of the World; what we call King eternal; but here it evidently means him who governs both worlds, and rules in time and eternity. This character among the Asiatics is considered essential to God; and therefore in the very first surat of the Koran he is called Rubbi Alalameen, "the Lord of both worlds," an expression perfectly similar to that above. But it is needless to multiply examples; they exist in abundance. Some, and particularly the ancient fathers, have connected του αιωνος τουτου with των απιστων, and have read the verse: But God hath blinded the minds of the unbelievers of this world, etc. Irenaeus, Tertullian, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Photius, Theophylact, and Augustine, all plead for the above meaning; and St. Augustine says that it was the opinion of almost all the ancients.
    Lest the light of the glorious Gospel
    - They have resisted the grace which God gave them, and have refused to yield to the evidences which amply prove the Messiahship of Jesus; and therefore their eyes were judicially darkened, as it is said in the prophet: He hath closed their eyes, and hath given them the spirit of slumber. That is, they have shut their eyes against the light, and their blindness and stupor are the consequence.
    By glorious Gospel we are to understand the luminous Gospel; that which comes with so much light and evidence to every candid mind.
    Who is the image of God - Christ is called, Hebrews 1:3, the brightness of God's glory, and the express image of his person. See the note at Hebrews 1:3.

    Although I do not agree with him in that he states God, in Christ, died for them He tried to save(paraphrasing here), there is much I find hard to disagree with. God has indeed blinded many from seeing the truth, deafening them from hearing the gospel, and hardening the hearts of many, too.
     
  2. SovereignGrace

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    Jameison-Faussett-Brown...

    2 Corinthians 4:4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    4. In whom—Translate, "In whose case."
    god of this world—The worldly make him their God (Php 3:19). He is, in fact, "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that ruleth in the children of disobedience" (Eph 2:2).
    minds—"understandings": "mental perceptions," as in 2Co 3:14.
    them which believe not—the same as "them that are lost" (or "are perishing"). Compare 2Th 2:10-12. South quaintly says, "when the malefactor's eyes are covered, he is not far from his execution" (Es 7:8). Those perishing unbelievers are not merely veiled, but blinded (2Co 3:14, 15): Greek, not "blinded," but "hardened."
    light of the glorious gospel of Christ—Translate, "The illumination (enlightening: the propagation from those already enlightened, to others of the light) of the Gospel of the glory of Christ." "The glory of Christ" is not a mere quality (as "glorious" would express) of the Gospel; it is its very essence and subject matter.
    image of God—implying identity of nature and essence (Joh 1:18; Col 1:15; Heb 1:3). He who desires to see "the glory of God," may see it "in the face of Jesus Christ" (2Co 4:6; 1Ti 6:14-16). Paul here recurs to 2Co 3:18. Christ is "the image of God," into which "same image" we, looking on it in the mirror of the Gospel, are changed by the Spirit; but this image is not visible to those blinded by Satan [Alford].

    So, even though Clarke makes a compelling case of God being 'the god of this world', I am not 100% convinced he was right. Though again, the case he makes with God actually blinding, hardening, and deafening sinners are biblical truths.

    But I would have to think that it is Satan that 2 Corinthians 4:4 mentions.
     
  3. SovereignGrace

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    John Wesley...

    2 Corinthians 4:4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
    4:4 The God of this world - What a sublime and horrible description of Satan! He is indeed the god of all that believe not, and works in them with inconceivable energy. Hath blinded - Not only veiled, the eye of their understanding. Illumination - Is properly the reflection or propagation of light, from those who are already enlightened, to others. Who is the image of God - Hence also we may understand how great is the glory of Christ. He that sees the Son, sees the Father in the face of Christ. The Son exactly exhibits the Father to us.

    Even John Wesley believes that Satan rules over unbelievers. So much so, that he blinds theirs minds. That is what I have been avering all along.
     
  4. SovereignGrace

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    Darby...

    If then this revelation was hidden, it was in the case of those who were lost, whose minds were blinded by the god of this world, lest the light of the good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine into their hearts.
     
  5. SovereignGrace

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    From Precept Austin...

    WHY DOESN'T EVERYONE
    RESPOND POSITIVELY TO THE GOSPEL?
    Our Gospel
    - Paul continues to use the plural pronoun (drawing attention away from himself). "Our gospel" in 1Th 1:5-note is used in a different sense for 1Th 1:1 introduces "Paul and Silvanus and Timothy" which is reflected in his use of "our". In other passages Paul calls the Gospel “my Gospel” indicating that the special emphasis he gave the good news in his ministry. (Ro 2:16-note, Ro 16:25, 26-note 2Ti 2:8-note) Can you say like Paul could say with assurance that it is "your" Gospel (you possess it and it possesses you)?
    Is veiled to those who are perishing
    - KJV = "it is hid to them that are lost". GWT = "hidden from those who are dying." Amplified = "hidden [only] to those who are perishing and obscured [only] to those who are spiritually dying and veiled [only] to those who are lost." Weymouth = " the veil has been on the hearts of those who are on the way to perdition". Barclay = "veiled in the case of those who are doomed to perish'
    Is veiled - Is (estin) is in the present tense signifying continuous action. Veiled is in the perfect tense which speaks of permanence. These verbs do not present a happy picture! In fact it should break our hearts these individuals (some of whom are sadly likely to be our own family members and/or close acquaintances) are separated from God's fellowship (Jn 1:12 Gal 3:26 2Co 6:18) and are unable to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, the Redeemer (Job 19:25 Ps 19:14-note) of Adam's lost race (cp Ro 5:12-note, 1Co 15:22).
    Spurgeon writes that...
    According to the text, he that believes not on Jesus Christ is a lost man. God has lost you; you are not his servant. The church has lost you; you are not working for the truth. The world has lost you really; you yield no lasting service to it (Ed: this is the essence of the meaning of apollumi - see below - and this includes all great contributors to arts, sciences, etc -- the point is that if they never become believers, all their labors vanish like the wind in light of an eternal destiny of dreadful doom!). You have lost yourself to right, to joy, to heaven. You are lost, lost, lost... It is not only that you will be lost, but that you are lost ...lost even now.

    Cont'd...
     
  6. SovereignGrace

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    Veiled (2572) (kalupto) means to cause something to be covered over literally (as with a lamp, Lk 8:16, dirt, Lk 23:30, water of waves, Mt 8:24) and hence not be visible. Figuratively, as used by Paul in this verse kalupto means to to cause something not to be known and thus means to hide, conceal, keep secret (cp similar figurative uses in Mt 10:26, Jas 5:20, 1Pe 4:8).
    Paul explains in the next verse (2Co 4:4) that the Gospel is veiled to those who have refused to believe (THE CAUSE) and have subsequently been spiritually blinded by Satan (THE EFFECT). There is a similar spiritual dynamic seen in Second Thessalonians where Paul is describing the future time during which the Antichrist will be in power (See Daniel's Seventieth Week Chart)
    that is, the one (referring to the Antichrist, the Man of Sin or Lawlessness, the Little Horn, the Beast of Revelation) whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan (in other words the Antichrist is "energized" by Satan), with all power and signs and false wonders and with all the deception (apate - giving of a false impression) of wickedness (unrighteousness) for those who perish (same word used in 2Co 4:3 - apollumi), because they did not receive (dechomai = they did not accept it nor welcome it -- the implication is that they had exposure to the Gospel) the love of the truth (~the Gospel) so as to be saved. For this reason (What reason? Their unbelief and willful rejection of the truth) God will send upon them a deluding influence (i.e., God actively gives them over to the power of deception = divine retribution/recompense) so that they will believe what is false (Now they believe but error rather than truth!), in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. (2Th 2:10, 11, 12)
    Guzik adds that Paul is not saying that those to whom the Gospel is veiled...
    are innocent victims of Satan’s blinding work. Satan’s work upon them is not the only reason they are blinded. Jn 3:19 says, And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Though men love the darkness, and choose the darkness, Satan still works hard to keep them blinded to the glorious Gospel of light and salvation in Jesus. (2 Corinthians 4 Commentary)
    Gospel (2098)(euaggelionfrom = good + aggéllo = proclaim, tell) is literally good news or glad tidings. In secular Greek it originally referred to a reward for good news and later became the good news itself. The word euaggelion was commonly used in the first century as our words "good news" today. The idea then and now is something like this - “Have you any good news (euaggelion) for me today?” This was a common question in the ancient world. In modern secular use gospel has an interesting meaning of something accepted as infallible truth or as a guiding principle (e.g., such and such is "the gospel truth"). This is not a bad Biblical definition either!
    Paul's passion was proclamation of the Gospel embodied in our Lord Jesus Christ...
    And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. (1 Co 2:1-2)
    The best Biblical definition of the gospel is found in First Corinthians 15...
    Now I make known to you [since it seems to have escaped you], brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain (does not teach that true believers are in danger of losing their salvation, but it is a warning against non–saving faith -- could be translated "unless your faith is worthless" -- holding fast was/is the result and evidence of genuine salvation). 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve . (1Co 15:1-8 See notes 1Co 15:1; 15:2; 15:3; 15:4; 15:5; 15:6 ; 15:7 ;15:8)
    Euaggelionwas commonly used in the Greco-Roman culture as "a technical term for "news of victory." The messenger appears, raises his right hand in greeting and calls out with a loud voice: "rejoice …we are victorious". By his appearance it is known already that he brings good news. His face shines, his spear is decked with laurel, his head is crowned, he swings a branch of palms, joy fills the city, euaggelia are offered, the temples are garlanded, an agon (race) is held, crowns are put on for the sacrifices and the one to whom the message is owed is honored with a wreath...[thus] euaggelion is closely linked with the thought of victory in battle. " (From the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament)
    This is a convicting definition - here a pagan messenger radiantly announces good news of an earthly victory. How much more radiant should we be who are the bearers of the great news of Christ's eternal triumph over sin, Satan, and death!
    The New Testament evangelists appropriated euaggelion in reference to the good news of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ep 2:8, 9-note). "Gospel" in fact was Paul’s favorite term for his message. In Paul’s letters the meaning of euaggelion narrows down to the specific sense of the "good news" that God has acted to save people from their sins and to reconcile them to Himself through the death of His Son Jesus Christ (Ro 5:10-note Col 1:22-note 2Co 5:18, 19, 20). For Paul, the Gospel is itself "the (dunamis = inherent, dynamic ability to accomplish) power of God for salvation (soteria - a word filled with significance for believers) to everyone who believes (pisteuo), to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Ro 1:16, 17-note). The Gospel then possesses the inherent power to deliver (rescue and preserve) otherwise eternally lost sinners "from the domain (exousia = the power = right and the might) of darkness" and transfer them "to the kingdom of His beloved Son" (Col 1:11, 12, 13-note).
     
  7. SovereignGrace

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    I know that was a lot to read, but I think it helps to get a better understanding of what Paul was expressing in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
     
  8. agedman

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    As a Calvinistic thinker, how is it that you would agree that one becomes spiritually blinded?

    Does not the Calvinistic thinker contend that the unbeliever IS spiritually blinded as part of the nature of being totally depraved?

    Does not the Calvinistic thinker take that the blindness is not some progressive from light to darkness, but a purposed dwelling in darkness as the song says, "Hello, Darkness, my old friend."

    I can't believe you would stoop so low as to consult Darby!

    OR must be appalled. :)
     
  9. SovereignGrace

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    Adam acted on behalf of those who he represented...all his posterity. All became spiritually blind when he fell.

    This one does. :)

    All remain in darkness until God calls them out of that darkness.

    I used others of different beliefs to show this isn't a Cal v. Armin subject. I put it here because it will morph into it though. :) :D
     
  10. percho

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    For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; Rom 8:20 NKJV

    I believe he was subjected to Satan before he became blind.
    And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
    Gen 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. KJV

    Is the futility of the creation there, blindness (the tree of K of G&E and all it brings; Satan)? Is the hope there, to see (the tree of Life and all it brings, from which man was cut off; God)?

    Was it the God of this world that subjected the creation to blindness or the god of this world?

    Saul/Paul was going down the road to Damascus in this state of blindness and God struck him physically blind. Why? Was it to show him that he was in a state of blindness? How long did God leave him in this state of blindness, both physical and spiritual?

    What did God do in order for Paul/Saul to be able to see? Did Paul open his own eyes or did God open them, both physically and spiritually?

    Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. John 16:7 KJV
    Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Acts 15:18 KJV
     
    #10 percho, Mar 24, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  11. SovereignGrace

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    In another thread on another forum, DHK post these two postings...

    He said that wherever we live, even if in another country, we must submit to their authority. I completely agree with that. We are called to peace, not to incite riots. But to parallel that with this notion of his that Satan is our ruler, meaning we live in the world, and he is god of it, and that we submit to him is not biblically correct at all. Here are some biblical instances to support my stance.

    In Daniel 3, we find Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego under King Nebuchadnezzer's rule. He has just built a golden statue that was 45' tall and 18' wide. Whenever the ppl heard the music begin playing, all ppls were to bow to that idol. Yet, even after the king's decree, they refused to bow to that idol. Even when given a chance to recant, they refused. They were cast into a fiery furnace as punishment for not bowing to the idol, and they directly disobeyed the law.

    In Daniel 6, king Darius was tricked into making an edict that he was the only one who could pray to their god for a 30 days period. Daniel still prayed 3 times a day to God. When word got back to king Darius, he was bothered by what had happened, and tried to save Daniel from being thrown into the den of lions...the punishment for disobeying the king's command/law.

    So, if DHK's stance is true, then it was wrong for Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego to refuse to obey the king's command/law. By DHK's stance, Daniel was wrong for going ahead and praying to his God when only Darius was allowed to by his command/law.


    So, you(I am aiming this at anyone who is reading this and not just DHK) are working in Rome after Jesus' crosswork. You are a Christian and taking a lunch break. You begin hearing a drum pounding and along comes some Roman soldiers with some incense and a fire. They look at you and your coworkers and tell you to come and get some incense and throw it into the fire and say 'Caesar is lord'. Those who do not are executed as they are breaking Roman law. Do you obey the law and live or act rebellious and refuse to say 'Caesar is lord' and die on the spot?)(I got this from a Brother Paul Washer sermon, btw)

    So to repost so verses...

    And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.[2 Corinthians 4:3-4]

    Now, if the gospel is veiled(hid), who is it veiled(hid) from? Believers? No. Those who are perishing.
    Who has the god of this age(world) blinded? Believers? No. Unbelievers. And due to him blinding them, they can not see the light of the gospel.

    As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 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. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.[Ephesians 2:1-5]

    Now, both sides of this debate agree that Satan is the god of this age(world), and that he is also the ruler of the kingdom of the air. But, who does the ruler of the kingdom of the air work through? Believers? No. Those who are disobedient. The rest of the passage I copied and pasted shows how we, at one time, lived among them, the unbelievers that is. That we were also deserving of God's wrath, like the others. Yet, because God loved us with His great loved, He made us alive in Christ by calling us out of darkness into the kingdom of God. We are no longer children of darkness, for this is where Satan rules. We now reside in the kingdom of Light, where God is our ruler.

    But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.[1 Peter 2:9]
     
  12. TCassidy

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    Except I don't think that is what he is saying. The bible is pretty clear when it says Satan is the "prince of the power of the air" and the "god of this world." But neither of those statements conveys the idea we must submit to him, nor do we. That is the whole point of the reign of Christ in the hearts of his children.

    Satan is the god of this world in the sense he rules over the world (system). We, as children of God, do not submit to his rule nor his world system. We are heirs of God and joint heirs of Christ. We submit to the rule of Christ in our hearts. We say, as Peter said, it is better to obey God than man (those men in subjection to the world system).

    Ephesians 2:2 seems to me to make that pretty clear, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.

    To deny the subjection of the world system to Satan, and that he works in the children of disobedience, seems rather naive to me.
     
  13. percho

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    Would you agree that in the laying down of the current system. the foundation of the world, that it was inclusive in the need for redemption, that is the Lamb was slain from the foundation there of Rev 13: 8 and or the Christ as of a lamb was going to come into the, to be laid down system, for redemption, before the laying down thereof? 1 Peter 1:18-20 In other words, before the foundation of the world, God did not believe there would be one who would seek him much less to completely obey him?

    The current system and it's governments were and are inclusive of some subjection of angelic and or demon beings, see Dan 9 I think, whereas the world to come, the kingdom of God, will not be so subjected?
     
    #13 percho, Mar 25, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  14. SovereignGrace

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    In Matthew 22, Jesus is confronted with some Saducees who did not believe in a resurrection and tempted Him with the seven brothers who each married the wife and asked on the day of resurrection, whose wife would she be. Here is the passage...


    That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died. Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?” Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ He is not the God of the dead but of the living.[Matthew 22:23-32]

    As you can see, God is not the God of the dead...now Satan, he is whom(I got WHOM right Brother Rippon :p ) the unregenerate, the world, serves...but of the living. Jesus said that the true worshippers must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth[John 4]. Now, what is meant by Him saying 'He is not the God of the dead, but of the living' is that He is God of those who worship Him. He is their God in worship, in service, in life, and in deed. Those who are dead in transgressions and sins are those who worship Satan, as he is their god. He has them blinded to the gospel, and works in them, as he works in the children who disobey God.
     
  15. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace
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    Sorry about the delay in responding to this posting of yours. I agree with you in what you posted above. Where I take umberage is when DHK said that Christ's kingdom is not here, only Satan's. If that is true, we are under his rule. The kingdom is here, yet not in its fullness. That will happen upon His second coming. But there are two kingdoms here now, the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of Light. The saved reside in the Kingdom of Light, the lost in the kingdom of darkness. One must be transferred/translated from darkness into Light via the quickening power of the Spirit.
     
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  16. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace
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    I was reading in Ephesians today when I came across this passage that goes along with the theme of this thread...

    For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.[Ephesians 5:8-20]

    Paul, addressing God's holy ppl of Ephesus[Ephesians 1:1], is telling them they were once darkness but are now light in the Lord. Whilst in the throes of darkness, Satan ruled them, reigned over them, was their god, as they were his servants. They were his servants because Paul said "Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—"[Romans 6:16], so by them being unregenerate, they were offering themselves to Satan as obedient slaves, and were serving him. We were in that same shape, too, prior to God in Christ, saving us by grace through faith. We are now His obedient slaves.
     
    #16 SovereignGrace, Mar 28, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016

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