CAN Mankind turn to God? (Calvinism vs. Pelagianism)

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Bismarck, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Bismarck

    Bismarck
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    The plain reading of this text indicates that men had no difficulty calling out to YHWH in their distress. (At the time of Genesis 4:26, the world was plunged into the depths of the pre-flood sin of the empire of Cain and his progeny.) This is much like a soldier, in wartime, crying out for God in his foxhole amidst the thunderous din of exploding artillery.

    Therefore, it seems that mankind can, if only dimly, sense the sin of this world -- at least when it gets critical in an immediate sense.

    This seems quite clear, YHWH-Elohim, in His Mercy and Compassion, "condescended" to set before the Israelites a set of Laws and Commandments that would bring them success in life. IF they chose to do what YHWH told them, THEN they would succeed. IF they chose not to do what YHWH told them, THEN they would fail.

    The clear, unambiguous scriptural use of "conditionals" (IF/THEN) clearly indicates that mankind does indeed have a conscious choice to make. That is, mankind "has the power" to choose YHWH-Elohim over satan.

    However, where I believe Calvinists, in their austere beliefs, are right is that it is only by the infinite, and unmerited Grace of YHWH-Elohim that mankind is given a ray of hope amidst the dark clouds of sin and wrath. Please consider! Where would mankind be, nay even where would you be, without God's revelation of Scripture to Moses and the Prophets?? Please think it through! IF YHWH-Elohim had with-held His Holy Spirit from Moses and the Prophets to Israel, THEN they would never have even made it out of Egypt, much less thrived and been successful enough to pave the way for the Messiah and Christianity!

    It is SIN which leads to slavery and death (Romans 6:16). Because of the SIN, the House of Jacob wound up as slaves in Egypt. Consider, Joseph's brothers sell him into slavery out of jealousy... and the way things work out, although Joseph saves them from starvation and death, all the brothers and their children wind up slaves in Egypt. The sin of jealousy led the whole family into slavery!

    Without God's calling Moses in Midian, the Israelites would have become just another slave race, a footnote in Egyptian history books.

    But YHWH-Elohim, in a Great and Wondrous Work, "condescended" to come all the forth from Heaven, call Moses to do His bidding, and thereby extract and "medivac" the Israelites out of bondage into the Promised Land. Once out of Egypt, Moses received the 10 Commandments atop Mount Horeb (aka Mount Sinai), and the Torah was written.

    And, so long as the Hebrews obeyed those Scriptures, they lived wild and free in the Highlands of the Holy Land. But as soon as they began disobeying those Scriptures, YHWH-Elohim sent prophet after prophet to call them back to His graciously-given Laws. And when the Hebrews eventually rejected even the prophets, as YHWH-Elohim had warned them through Moses in Deuteronomy 30 at the beginning of the whole show, lo-and-behold the Hebrews indeed were conquered and re-enslaved by their enemies. Indeed, the real miracle, and the really obvious miracle if you think about it, is that 12 tribes of "barbarians" managed to hold out for 700 years wedged between the two super-power states of their era, Egypt in the West and Babylon to the East (not to mention the Hittites to the North!).

    My point is this: although Mankind does have the power and capacity to read Scripture and choose to obey it, and thereby live in righteousness and freedom... Mankind clearly never had the power to avoid succumbing to satan's seductions. We are all sons of Adam and Eve, and they were duped by satan... we have their genes, "like father like son", and so we too are vulnerable to satan's lurings. Even no less than the House of Jacob wound up*enslaved in Egypt!

    Clearly, Calvinists are right on when they say that, apart from the Mercy and Grace and Great & Wondrous Works of YHWH-Elohim (such as "condescending" to call Prophet after Prophet and, through them, telling mankind exactly what to do and how to do it to escape bondage), apart from God-breathed Scripture, Mankind would be so ignorant and blind to satan's plots and schemes that we would all be slaves and the world would already be a complete and utter hell-hole.

    In a word, satan is smarter than mankind. Satan is smarter than you, me, and all mankind, and left to our own devices, we would all already be slaves in a hell-hole world. However, infinitely Graciously, God has "condescended" to simplify things down to our moronic level. I know it's harsh, but that is the claim. YHWH-Elohim, seeing all of mankind threatened by satanic seduction, has Graciously told us all, through His prophets, "do this, do that, don't do the other, just trust me, it's too complicated to explain, just trust me". (Those are my words, may God forgive my impudence, I'm trying to explain.)

    Lo-and-behold, again and again and again, when mortal men (like Israel early on, or the Protestant Puritans early on) choose to admit their own stupidity, their own fallibility, their own vulnerability to satan's twisted charms, and they say, "Uhhmmm, well, ok, I'm a moron in the grand scheme of things, I admit it, I'm just going to go for broke and do what YHWH-Elohim tells me, when He tells me, how He tells", then those people succeed and create great nations like Israel and America.

    And, likewise, time and again, when men stray from YHWH-Elohim's "simplified, dumbed down to our level" instructions on how to avoid satan's traps, then their once-great nations falter and fall, again like Israel in 586 BCE and America in 20?? CE...

    In short, what I'm trying to say is, mankind has proven, time and again, that he is too stupid to compete against satan in a battle of wits. Time and again, satan outsmarts us, and lures us into bondage. As it is written,

    Because of our stupidity, we have all become, through our sins, satan's "beasts" who work his fields in bondage (the metaphor made sense 3000 years ago in the Middle East, when and where the Scripture was revealed, when slaves were forced to be agricultural workers on plantations).

    But, thank God (!), YHWH-Elohim has given us, with Scripture, a simplified "7 step program to escape sin, for dummies".

    And without that infinitely wondrous and gracious work of YHWH-Elohim, we would all be bereft of that "7 step program...for dummies"...

    and we would all be thralls toiling away in utter abject hopeless tyranny.

    So, in that sense, Calvinists are right. All praise and all laudings be unto YHWH-Elohim, whose boundless Grace has "spoken right down to earth, in a language that everyone here can easily understand", what to do, and what not to do, so as to avoid satan's web of lies, trickery, and deceit.

    In short, it all boils down to Proverbs 14:12:

    and Matthew 7:13-14:

    YHWH-Elohim's wonder of wonder, His God-breathed Scriptures, are like a neon-sign pointing the way to the narrow gate on to Life, and away from the broad gate on to Death... and without YHWH-Elohim's aforesaid wonder of wonders, without Scripture, Mankind would be almost hopelessly lost.

    So, Mankind can choose to read and obey Scripture, once YHWH-Elohim gives it to him... but Mankind could never have written those Scriptures himself. Have I been clear enough?
     
  2. Bismarck

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    Somewhat relatedly, just sharing, concerning the verse:

    Martin Luther wrote, "this is purest gospel". YHWH-Elohim "reached down" from Heaven and medivac'd the Israelites out of bondage and into freedom. This is the "purest gospel", the clearest way of illustrating the power of YHWH-Elohim and the great goal of freedom and peace that is His Wish and Will for Mankind.

    God help this world and all mankind and all creation. Amen. ::sign of cross::
     
  3. Bismarck

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    What I'm trying to say at the end, about how Mankind can choose to read and heed Scripture, but cannot produce scripture (ie, figure out how to defeat satan on their own), is much like some famous Surah from the Holy Koran:

    This challenge, in the Holy Koran, to equal the Wisdom of Allah YHWH-Elohim on your own, by producing your own Wisdom writings, all by your self, without any Divine Revelation through the Holy Spirit of God, that is the essence of what I'm trying to say.

    Mankind is possessed of enough mental capacity and moral willpower to read and heed Scripture if they so choose...

    but Mankind has demonstrated repeatedly that he does not possess the capacity to invent Scriptures, to come up with the Wisdom necessary to defeat satan's web of sin on his own.

    Thank God for God-breathed Scripture, without which we would be bereft of our moral compass! Amen. ::sign of cross::
     
  4. Allan

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    What does this have to do with Pelagainism, which believes:
    Please explain:
     
    #4 Allan, Apr 2, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2007
  5. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    [QUOTE="Bismarck]
    The plain reading of this text indicates that men had no difficulty calling out to YHWH in their distress. (At the time of Genesis 4:26, the world was plunged into the depths of the pre-flood sin of the empire of Cain and his progeny.)[/QUOTE]

    As I have been taught, Gen. 4:26 is showing the beginning of godly line of Seth which is indicated by the phrase, "then people began to call upon the name of YHWH."
    So it wasn't just any men "calling out to God in distress", it was the godly line of Seth, from whom the Messiah would come. (Luke 3:38).
     
  6. webdog

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    You make it sound like salvation is genetic. Is that what you believe?
     
  7. npetreley

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    Deut 30 has to be read in the entire context, which means you have to go back to at least Deut 28. Anyway, here's a line I would have emphasized in your quote:

    Hmmm.... I call heaven and earth to witness AGAINST you? Interesting wording for this passage.
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    BismarcK:

    I resent calling the Koran a holy book, much as I resent using the word gay, which is a wonderful word connoting a happy attitude, in relation to sodomites and lesbians.
    Having said that, only the Bible is a Holy Book because it comes from God the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and the judge of all mankind.
    Having said that, I do not see how God addressing Israel is the same as God addressing all mankind.
    God has told Israel, whom He created from one man, Abraham, to do what He instructs them, or. He was not telling mankind to do what He was instructing Israel, His chosen national people, to do.
     
  9. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    Generic?
    I said that it was the godly line of Seth who was calling on the name of the LORD, not men indiscriminately.
     
  10. webdog

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    I said GENETIC not GENERIC.
     
  11. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    oops, sorry.
     
  12. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    There's nothing genetic about there being a godly line of men.
    I would call it Providence.
    Gen. 4 ends with the contrast between the two lines of Adam:
    Cain and his ungodly line and Seth and his godly line.
     
  13. johnp.

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    First blood to the goats. First Blood for the elect, GE 3:21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

    Hello Bismarck.

    Just goes to show how inspired the Koran is then doesn't it? I mean 'Mankind can choose to read and heed Scripture' is the same as free willers think but scripture itself contradicts this false notion. Nice to know the free willer has good company. :) 1 Cor 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: 16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

    I see no distress, Gen 4:26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.
    But since Jesus says, "No one can come to me unless the Father draws him." Then I believe no one can heed scripture unless one is born again. Gen 3:22 ...He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." Sort of clinches it doesn't it? Read Duet 29:4 to find out why the Israelites chose death rather than life. 4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear.

    john.
     
  14. Bismarck

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    My understanding is that Adam & Eve had three children: Abel, Cain, and Seth. Abel was murdered by Cain. Cain's line was wiped out by the flood. Seth's line gave rise to Noah whose was the only household to survive the flood. Noah's three sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth repopulated the Earth. Ham gave rise to the "Hamites" of Africa and Egypt, Shem gave rise to the Semites of the Middle East, and Japheth gave rise to the Indo-Europeans of Anatolia (Asia Minor) and Europe. The Biblical "Japheth" (technically pronounced "Yafeth" or "Yapeth") is recognized by the Greeks as their forefather, "Iapetos".

    IOW, according to the Bible, all the nations of men alive today came from Noah's sons... all of whom are sons of Seth... and so, even if it is genetic etc, even so, all mankind on Earth today has that gene by virtue of being an offshoot of Seth's line.

    According to the Bible, your great great ... great grandfather was Seth, yes?
     
  15. webdog

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    You are correct. We are all indirectly descended from Seth, so that would imply according to Is40:28 that all men can call out to God in distress.
     
  16. Bismarck

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    Well, let's do the math. According to Genesis 4:26, "men began to call on the name of YHWH" about when Seth begot Enosh. (Note that Genesis 5:4 says that Adam begot other sons and daughters after Seth. These brothers and sisters of Seth were presumably still around when Seth begot Enosh. Thus, when Genesis 4:26 says "men began to call on the name of YHWH" at this time, the word "men" could apply to Seth & Enosh, as well as all of those un-named brothers & sisters born later. So, in answer to Isaiah40:28, it might not just be the line of Seth that was able to call upon God.)

    Now, looking ahead, according to Genesis 6:10-13, Noah begets his three sons (Ham, Seth, Japheth) and then YHWH sees that the Earth is full of sin and resolves to send the flood. So, although things obviously got worse and worse over some period of time, they weren't "critically sinful" until after Noah had begotten his 3 sons.

    And, according to Genesis 5, Noah begot his 3 sons 1321 years after Enosh was born. So, men began to call upon God over 1300 years before God resolved to wipe out sinful mankind.

    This is quite a space of time. It seems far more likely to me that mankind calling upon YHWH in Genesis 4:26 links to Eve's naming her third son "Seth = Compensation" in the previous verse:

    For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
    Genesis 4:25b

    Thus, it seems more likely to me that the line of Seth began calling upon YHWH in Gen 4:26 because of Eve's pious acknowledgement of God's Grace in Gen 4:25, than due to rampant sin which, although it was becoming ever worse, was still over 1300 years before "meltdown".

    So, I take back the sentence about "in their distress". Wielding Scripture is a mighty task, you have to check everything with everything else.


    You are saying that salvation = unity with God the Father proceeds only from God the Father. It is God the Father, YHWH-Elohim, who gives (active verb) understanding to men. It is God the Father, YHWH-Elohim, who locks on to those whom He elects = "choose out, ex-legere" with His "tractor-beam" and draws them unto Him.

    But we must also recall:

    3In the course of time Cain brought to YHWH an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And YHWH had regard for Abel and his offering, 5but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6YHWH said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7If you do well, will there not be a lifting up [of your face]? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its craving is for you, but you must rule over it."
    Genesis 4:3-7 (ESV + Hebraisms from footnotes)

    First, "countenance" or "face" connotes where you are looking. Cain becomes angry and his "face" turns away from Heaven (GOD) down towards Earth (fallen world, sin, etc). In order to be able to look back up towards Heaven (GOD) -- or, to have your face lifted up by God towards God, where God does the work -- you must "do well".

    The Messiah did say, "no one can come to me unless the Father draws him". YHWH-Elohim is the ultimate arbiter and judge who decides who will be "lifted up", who will be "drawn up". God the Father is the ultimate chooser, as it is written, "many are called but few are chosen" (Matt 20:16, 22:14). YHWH-Elohim is the ultimate chooser, and no man can "demand" or make any claim requiring YHWH-Elohim to choose, as it is written:

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

    You cannot say, "hey, I did this, I did that, YHWH-Elohim owes me salvation!" Why? Because YHWH-Elohim made this Universe, created you, gave you life and put you here. You are God's workmanship. And what price can you possibly put on your soul (Matt 16:26)?? So, you are always in YHWH-Elohim's debt, He gave you life, and anything else he does for you is "gravy", as they say.

    Furthermore, imperfect man cannot possibly do anything "so righteous" that YHWH-Elohim is "impressed", as it were. You cannot awe God so that God says, "ahh, wow, that was cool, that merits salvation". For, even "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 65:4). That is, the best we can possibly do doesn't even qualify as truly "good". Rather, imperfect man's best attempts at good are still mingled with enough sin and evil to be repugnant to a purely Holy God. The very notion of "good works" is an oxymoron! Even the Messiah rejected being called "good":

    And Yeshua said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone."
    Mark 10:18

    Therefore, even if you do the best job you can, it is still never "good enough" to "merit" salvation from a Pure and Holy God. So, it is only through God's Boundless Grace that your repugnant "filthy rag" works are ever accepted at all!

    Nevertheless, as Genesis 4:7 says, if you "do well", won't you generally be raised up towards Heaven (God)? Paul echoes this:

    7Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
    Hebrews 6 (NIV)

    Land that is productive, ie, men that "do well" (= "do rightly") will generally "receive the blessing of God".

    And you have the capacity to choose whether to do rightly, or to do wrongly. Just like you have the capacity to "choose life" or "choose death", which means to "choose to heed God's commands" or to "choose not to heed God's commands".

    Your quote of Deut 29:4 is not relevant. Deut 29:4 warns the Israelites that YHWH-Elohim had not yet given them understanding. The surrounding verses remind the Israelites that God had shown them great wonders and miracles, things anyone could understand. God "spoke right down to Earth in a language that everyone here can easily understand". God demonstrated his power by parting the Red Sea and dropping manna from heaven. These wonders anyone could tell were miraculous.

    God did miracles to demonstrate authority and power, and then said "Do these things, don't do those things, trust me". It is much like the Messiah said to the Jews:

    37If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
    38But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
    John 10

    That is, "hey look, I just parted the Red Sea, what do you want from me?? So trust me, and do what I tell you!" (As it were, to anthropomorphize God, may YHWH-Elohim forgive my impudence.)

    My point is, although the Israelites were a "stiff necked people"(Deut 31:27), God managed to speak in a loud enough voice (parting Red Sea) to get through to them. As the Messiah would comment 1300 years later, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe" (John 4:48).

    But if they do see signs and wonders, they can believe.

    So, Deut 29:4 says that the Israelites were an ignorant and stiff-necked people. They didn't know why God was telling them to do this and don't do that. They didn't know the "why"... but God told them plainly the "what". And God's demonstration of authority convinced them, for a time, to just say, "uhhh, I don't know why God is telling me to do these things, and not do those things, those sex orgy Asherah cults look like allot of fun, but, hey, God just parted the Red Sea, so I don't know why I'm supposed to avoid those Asherah cults, but I'll just do it."

    Deut 29:4 addresses the ignorance of the early Israelites... it reflects just how "dumbed down" God had to make His message to get through to them (parting Red Sea, massive miracles, "do this, don't do that, just because").

    But it does not change the fact that, if a message is made simple enough for us to understand, we can = have the capacity to choose to heed it or not. We can "do rightly" or not...

    once, by God's Grace, we are told, at our low level, what is "right" and what is "wrong", ie, we have been given the Law.
     
  17. johnp.

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    But not all Sethites were Sethites. :)

    That the sons of God could call out to God they had to be adopted, born again. Being born again does not change our natural nature, it is not inheritable. Only our fallen natures are passed on not our imputed righteousness'. Not all Sethites were Sethites. :) Only eight were in the end webdog.

    I think it is how you define 'calling on' Bismarck. Adam and Eve hid from God and He had to root them out before He could save them. :) GE 3:21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

    And I think they made a feast of the animal and all sat down together where the Lord taught them to be the first evangelists.
    Adam and Eve did not call on His Name for salvation but they did speak to Him. Since that is true I take the 'calling on' to be one of salvic quality. (I've just made that up but it sounds good.)

    Yes, he was being brought up in a Christian household. He spoke to God and knew Him face to face but Balaam knew God as well as the King of Babylon, it's not who you know but what receives this knowing. If it is stone then nothing good can come from it. A man must be born again and Cain was not. Unless one's heart is circumcised one cannot see or understand spiritual things. The Israelites had forty years of continuous miracles yet God gave them no understanding of the events they witnessed. Their hearts were hard and God gave them no healing, no ears to hear with and no eyes to see with, they were born in the dark and they died in the dark and this for the glory of God.

    Just goes to show how dark is the darkness doesn't it? But unless one is born again one hasn't a snowball's chance. People are conceived dead in sins and trangressions and die in sins and transgressions unless they receive life from God. Then one can see and understand. The miracles of Jesus were enough for any reasonable man to accept as proof of any claim being made but man isn't looking for proof but a way around the problem of God. The sinful mind is at emnity with Him and cannot obey Him. We cannot. Rom 8:7. We cannot because God has compelled us to hate Him. For God has bound all men over to disobedience... Rom 11:32.

    I think you misunderstand sin if you think any part of our works righteous. Anything good coming out of me was just Christ passing through. :)

    Regardless of all else, God did say He did not give the Israelites eyes and ears for them to understand, so talking of their ignorance, it is due to that. It is one thing to acknowledge God's existence, many do that including Satan, and to be born against the grain. Unless one is born again miracles are of no other use than to make the reprobates punishment all the harder to bear. God works through His word.

    What you think?

    john.
     
  18. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    Great insight, johnp.
     
  19. Bismarck

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    Point One:

    Genesis 4:26 says, "then began men to [proclaim] the name of YHWH". (I substituted "proclaim" for "call on" from Strong's.) The verb indicates a beginning, but indicates no ending. Thus, from this time forward, men are proclaiming the name of God. The implication is surely that men are praying to God, because God's name is traditionally invoked at the beginning of prayers.

    We do not need to make things more complicated, with fancy rhetoric. The plain reading is, from the about the birth of Enosh forward in time, men were invoking/praying to God. Whether it was inheritable, or just learned, etc, the plain reading is that, from the birth of Enosh on, a continuous tradition of God-fearing existed on Earth.

    Point Two:

    JohnP misquoted Romans 11:32. Here is how it reads in context:

    28As concerning the gospel, they [Jews] are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they [Jews] are beloved for the father's sakes.
    29For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
    30For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their [Jews] unbelief:
    31Even so have these [Jews] also now not believed, that through your mercy they [Jews] also may obtain mercy.
    32For God hath concluded them all [Jews] in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all [Jews].​

    Paul is saying that God has shut up ("concluded") all the disbelieving Jews in unbelief, a state of being unpersuaded. In a rough way, this is much like God "hardening Pharaoh's heart" (Exodus 7:13) and, thereby, inducing the Pharaoh to chase after the Hebrews and be drowned in the Red Sea -- thereby, demonstrating YHWH's Might and Main before the eyes of all mankind. Note that the Pharaoh had already resisted YHWH's callling, through Moses, numerous times before YHWH "hardened the Pharaoh's heart" and compelled the Pharaoh to sin further and be destroyed. The Pharaoh became a "vessel of wrath fitted unto destruction" (Romans 9:22) in order, seemingly, to demonstrate YHWH's Authority. The "dangling identifier" (??) of "them all" in Romans 11:32 hearkens back to the Jews in their disbelief and "enemy of the Gospel [of Christ]" status... not to all mankind.

    Please recall 2 Peter 3:16, "As also in all his [Paul's] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." For the record, nobody will like this comment, but the earliest Bibles from the era of Constantine put all the "Catholic Epistles" of James, Peter, John, and Jude before any of Paul's letters. The message was that you are supposed to learn the theology of the "pillars of the Church" (Galatians 2:9) before moving on to the advanced course layed out by Paul.

    If I might, I would like to offer, with greatest humility, indeed "as a worm" (Job 25:6), my own sense as to what YHWH was demonstrating by "hardening the hearts of the Jews" (from Romans 11:32). The Jews rejected the Messiah... and then, like the Red Sea closing in upon the Pharaoh and his army, the Red Coated Legions of Rome closed in upon Jerusalem and the Jews, destroying the Temple Made with Hands and many Jews along with it.
     
  20. johnp.

    johnp.
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    And what of Adam and Eve and Abel, did they not pray? I think it has more to do with a line of men being chosen.

    Misquoted out of context? :) Are you actually saying that 'all men' in Romans 11:32 means only the Jews?

    Rev 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

    Note the so that. EX 4:21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

    Scripture does not say that Pharoah became anything but he was raised up for that very purpose. A pot for common use. Romans 9:22 is not talking about Pharoah it is speaking of reprobates in general. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Rom 9:17.

    It isn't 'seemingly' it is so. God created Pharoah and raised him to power just just to destroy him in public just so God could make a Name for Himself. He was successful.

    john.
     

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