Christ's Atoning Death on the Cross

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by PreachTony, May 1, 2015.

  1. PreachTony

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    The previous thread this discussion took place in has been closed, as the thread was spiraling off course. But I still think this is fertile ground for discussion, and I would like to continue if the moderators will allow it. Hopefully this thread can remain a little more focused than the last one did.

    **NOTE for the Mods: I'm leaving this in the Cal/Arm forum, as it will likely contain much Cal/Arm terminology and discussion. Please move it to a more appropriate place, if necessary.**

    Protestant, I've heard this argument several times before. Somehow, the camp I fall in is viewed as believing in a weak Christ because we believe God allows man to accept or reject Him.

    And yet we are saved by grace through faith. We see examples all through the New Testament of Christ stating that man has to respond. It's the Monergist who adds in a component of God moving or enabling the man to respond first. My camp (at least in my secluded little corner of this world) believes God will draw, but He does not force man to do anything, nor does He create a situation in which a man cannot respond to Him. Otherwise we have a scriptural accounting of God that reveals Him as a being that requires repentance and belief, but never allows certain men to repent and believe, yet still condemns them for not doing something that He never allowed them to do. Try as I might, I simply cannot see that God revealed in the nature of Jesus Christ.

    The response, though, is solely up to the individual. He stands at the door and knocks, and if any man opens, He will come in and sup with him. To hear the Monergist position on this, Jesus stands at the door, knocks, then moves the man to open the door (or alternatively never extends to man the grace to open the door) and then enters in by forcing man to open the door.

    See, my camp views the scriptures as revealing that God offers man the choice. The alternative, as our resident hyper-Cal would put it, is that man is essentially born saved (as the Elect cannot escape their Election) and born damned (as the non-Elect cannot enter into salvation, as they are not the Elect). We don't see that in scripture. We see a God the desires ALL men to repent, and in fact commands ALL men to repent.

    That is only available if Christ atoned for ALL men. Otherwise what good is repentance if no atonement was offered for us?

    That's a bit of putting words in my mouth that I did not say or even intend. Let's use an analogy (which will obviously be weaker than Christ's atonement, but will hopefully prove a point). Say the richest man in America dies and he leaves his estate to every person in the nation. Everyone will get $100. All you have to do is drive to City Hall to pick up your money. If you don't go and pick yours up, can you reasonably accuse the wealthy man of not giving you anything? Can you reasonably say he left you nothing, if you are the one who did not move to receive it?

    Of course, that analogy won't work for you, as you seem far more monergistic in viewing the issue than my side.

    And as I've said before, I cannot see that aspect of God in the scriptures, especially as revealed by the nature of Jesus Christ in the gospels. As I mentioned above, the "definite" atonement side, while something that can be argued from scripture (as I believe my point can be), renders a large portion of humanity as born damned. They have no hope; no chance; no choice. God never intended to save them and is, according to some, merciful in letting them perish eternally. Yet we see scripture saying God is "not willing that any should perish" but that "all should come to repentance."

    Yes. I hope I'm doing a fair enough job elucidating them for you.

    The allusion I was making concerning the OT sacrifices wasn't concerned with what group of people the sacrifices were made for, but rather the nature of the sacrificed and what the sacrificed was capable of.

    Yes, Israel was the chosen people. But we also read that Christ came unto His own, and His own received Him not. If they were chosen of God then how could they reject the Christ? WE see that as a function of the free will God as allotted to mankind. Israel was able to make a choice for or against God. Some Israelites believed on Jesus. Many more did not. I believe that is the case of the world as a whole (considering the scripture of the broad gate and the strait gate). But the OT sacrifice covered the whole of Israel, believer and unbeliever alike. Kind of like when it rains, it rains on the just and the unjust. We see the sacrificial death of Christ in much the same light. It is available to all, but we must accept or reject it. However, we do not see that it in any way weakens Christ, as some on your side of the aisle seem to think.

    Again, we are right back to the biggest hang-up my side has with Election...The infallible word of God states that God desires none to perish, yet the doctrine of Election has that same God condemning multitudes into the second death by virtue of never intending to save them in the first place.

    It is my belief that my camp's view of scripture reveals God desiring all to come to repentance, and then actually offering all the means to do so.

    Again, I hope this helped to clarify my stance.
     
  2. savedbymercy

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    Christ's Atoning Death on the Cross did Reconcile God to man, and man to God, or it was a failure unto the purpose of God ! Everyone for whom Christ died must be reconciled to God, converted to God, and whoever does not be converted to God by Christs death, the obvious conclusion is that Christ did not die for them !
     
  3. tyndale1946

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    I understand your camp but I who believe in Election still pose this question you say God offers man the choice. If that is so what are you going to do with the two thieves on the cross?... One we know was going to heaven or paradise as Jesus told him he was. Show me according to scripture where either of these two criminals were given a choice?... Then I will believe in a choice doctrine!... It is not there or if it is I missed it!... The picture of these two criminal one saved, one lost shows me God Mercy and Justice!... Yes according to the mind of a natural man God should save everybody!... According to scripture Christ saved ALL the Father gave him to save and none else!... Salvation is not a choice but the Sovereignty of God... Didn't Adam also have a choice?... Brother Glen
     
  4. Yeshua1

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    The basic problem though on this issue is that how can sinners without free will remaining in the libertine sense actually really chose to respond on their own wills?
     
  5. PreachTony

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    To counter your question with a question of my own: When did either thief have opportunity to repent?

    So often I hear your side say that man cannot repent unless God moves him to repent. Yet God commands all men everywhere to repent. God, we are told, is not willing that any should perish. But according to limited atonement, God is more than willing that vast numbers should perish, and then those purporting limited atonement call it "justice and mercy." I don't see that in the Bible.

    I see the thief on the cross who spoke to Jesus as one that Christ spoke of in Rev 22, saying let any who thirst come and drink.
     
  6. steaver

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    Jesus preached for about three years all throughout the region. Do you think these two thieves never heard of Jesus nor ever heard that He preached eternal life through belief that He was the Son of God?

    If you missed it, you have missed the entire NT preaching that was done everywhere for three years.
     
  7. Protestant

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    PT, thanks for starting a thread which deals with the issues begun on a previous thread which closed.

    You said, “we believe God allows man to accept or reject Him.”

    I’d like to stay focused on this statement because it contains several assumptions which are in contention. I will address the issues by asking you pertinent questions based on biblical truth.

    1. No one denies Adam was created sinless with ‘free will’, though the term ‘free will’ is never used once in Scripture. Adam had the power to not sin, as well as the power to sin, if he so chose. Adam freely chose to sin, thereby losing his original righteousness. Spiritual and physical death was his punishment. To make matters worse, Adam’s fallen nature was inherited by all his progeny, with the exception of Jesus Christ. This explains why all die physically in Adam. It also explains why Paul states we sinners are all spiritually dead to God.

    My question is this: If righteous sinless Adam failed the initial test of obedience, why do you suppose his unrighteous, spiritually dead descendants are now capable, by their own power, of passing the Gospel ‘test’ of obedience – i.e. by ‘accepting’ Jesus?

    Does man now possess a power of obedience greater than that of Adam?

    Please prove your point using Scripture.

    2. The Gospel announces the Kingdom of God:

    Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.

    Jesus states:

    Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    My question is this: Why would Jesus insist on the absolute necessity of a new spiritual nature in order to spiritually discern the spiritual Kingdom which is preached in the Gospel when, according to you, it is not absolutely necessary because “God allows [unregenerate] man to accept or reject Him.”

    Please prove your point using Scripture.

    3. If, as you say, “God allows man to accept or reject Him,” then eternal life is a reward earned by the unregenerate man who uses his natural faculties in a godly, righteous manner. If eternal life is a reward for unregenerate man’s good response to the Gospel, then eternal life is no longer a gift of God’s grace. Rather it is a just payment earned by man for his excellent discernment and acknowledgement of spiritual truth.

    My question is this: Since we are saved by God’s grace plus nothing, how can anything we do cause God to give us undeserved, unmerited saving grace which results in eternal life?

    4. If, as you say, “God allows man to accept or reject Him,” then is it not true that man is the final arbiter of his eternal destiny; the final authority as to the efficacy or failure of Christ’s atonement?

    Please prove your point using Scripture.
     
  8. Iconoclast

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    PreachTony
    .



    you can see it if you look here;

    12 That at that time ye were without Christ,


    being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,


    and strangers from the covenants of promise,


    having no hope,

    and without God in the world:


    No hope and without God....In the world....can you see it????it is right there:thumbs:

    And here you repeat your error....you say you see this in scripture...however it is no where to be found in scripture unless you re write what it actually says....this has been shown to you ,so you now post it in direct error and contradiction to what the verse really says......TO-usward....





    Scripture gives a clear answer to this that once again you ignore.Do not say you do not "see" it. You do not believe it evidently...Here is the answer in scripture;

    6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
    7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

    8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.


    This is clear and plain.....you see it here....now you believe it or you do not.


    The bible does not teach this anywhere.
    No election is God saving a multitude of sinners.
    Are you saying God has to save everyone? You know what God should do, or intend to do, more than God does?
     
  9. PreachTony

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    Thank you, as well. I appreciate a civil discussion.

    I'm not saying there is greater or lesser power of obedience. I am merely trying my best to go by what scripture says. Did God change how man was designed after the Fall? I don't read where He did. All have failed. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

    I see scriptural evidence of us having the ability to sin or to not sin, even after the fall. The woman caught in adultery, brought before Jesus, was instructed by Jesus to "Go, and sin no more." Now, if we are so depraved that we cannot help but sin, why would Jesus tell her this? Obviously, she had the ability to choose not to sin.

    I never said it was not necessary. Please understand this, not a single one of us would tell you that someone can, of their own decision, accept God unto salvation. We still believe that God must draw us. We just do not believe that God's calling is irresistible. We believe that we can turn from God, or outright reject God. If God's grace and call are indeed irresistible, then why are we instructed to not quench the Spirit.

    Where does it say we are saved by God's grace plus nothing? We are saved "by grace" "through faith." Paul makes it abundantly clear that we must hear the preached word and we must respond by calling on God's name. Only the monergist camp, specifically of Calvinist election, seems to think we can be saved without faith, or that our faith comes after our salvation. I've noticed a component of the Election camp that seems to think us merely believing on God is a work. This idea, though, negates Ephesians 2:8-9.

    The thing is, no one in my camp (at least in my little corner of the world) believes that their faith "earned" them salvation. We simply see the revelation in scripture that without faith we wouldn't be saved. Salvation still came from God. He did not have to give it to us. But He did establish a system in His own word that shows how we come to salvation, and that system includes faith.

    I'll give it my best shot...

    Both of these verses indicate that man has the ability to come to God, but we can reasonably infer that God issues a call of some type first. To see the "water of life" as salvation, then it is reasonable to infer that "[being] athirst]" is the type of God's calling. It's plainly evident in 3:20 that God calls us, in that He stands at the door and knocks. It is up to the man to open the door unto Him.

    This, to my side, is an indicator that God desires all men to be saved. Now, if you believe in Calvinist Election, then God, who the Bible says "desires that none should perish" and "will have all men to be saved," actually desires none of this, and instead wants and will have only a few saved out, and He is merciful in this attitude. As Brother Icon pointed out, Election is God saving a multitude of sinners, but he avoids the flipside of the argument, which is if God through Election saves one group, He inevitably issues damnation on the remainder.

    There is scripture after scripture after scripture that shoes us that the Lord died for all men. To achieve limited atonement requires some pretty serious twisting of the scripture. There has to be a picking-and-choosing of when "all" means "all" or when "the world" actually means "the world" and not just "the Elect." Paul explains to Titus that the saving grace of God has appeared to all men. If Paul is only talking about the Elect, then why not just say "the Elect?" Why hide it in the scripture?

    To evidence my point immediately above, this verse uses "all men" twice, but only those espousing Calvinist Election would stretch it to say the first "all men" actually means "all men," but the second "all men" actually means just "the elect."

    Here's another one. God is the savior of all men, and here it has to be all men, because it is afterward qualified with the statement "specially of those that believe."

    God allows us the choice. It is clear, at least to my camp, who are not looking through Calvinist glasses, that this is a clear scriptural teaching. I cannot help that you feel this damages the sovereignty of God. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, and not just ours, but for the whole world.

    If, in the Monergist doctrine, God is the sovereign arbiter of our final destination, with absolutely no input from man, then what was the point of the Great Commission? Why do Calvinist even bother preaching? Can one of the Elect lose their Election? Can one of the non-Elect find their way into Election?
     
  10. PreachTony

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    1 Timothy 2:3-4 teaches clearly that God would have all men to be saved.

    So Election is God granting eternal life to only one group. How does the Calvinist justify that Election is only the good part while passing over the obvious conclusion that, if God is electing one group to eternal life, then He must by necessity be condemning the non-Elect to perishing?

    No, and I never said I did. The Bible shows us that God would have all men to be saved. He does not want any to perish. He was lifted up, and thereby draws all men unto Him. As I told Protestant, He stands at the door and knocks. It is left to man to respond to that drawing and that knocking.
     
  11. savedbymercy

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    Pt

    Thats Christ's responsibility to do then. The Father sent Him to seek and to save that which was Lost Lk 19:10

    10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

    Now will the Son of Man be 100 % successful in doing the will of His Father in regards to 1 Tim 2:3-4 ? Yes or No ?
     
  12. PreachTony

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    You have displayed, to me, a proclivity for twisting and ignoring scripture in order to make the Word fit your chosen theology. You make absolutes out of conditional states, and you then couch your arguments on these insipid 'Yes or No?' questions. I'm not putting you on ignore, but I will not answer your "Yes or No" attempts.

    I have presented my side's view of the scripture as best I can on an internet forum. I have shown you scriptures of God desiring all mankind to be saved. He desires and commands all mankind to come to repentance. Only when scripture is twisted to fit Calvinistic Election do we see a God who does not desire to save everyone.
     
  13. savedbymercy

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    pt

    There you go, evasion !

    You quoted a passage 1 Tim 2:3-4

    3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

    4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

    Ok, fine. Now its Christ's Job to accomplish this will/desire of God, the proof is here Lk 19:10

    10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

    Do you believe the all God wants to be saved in 1 Tim 2:4 are the same ones Christ came to seek and to save in Lk 19:10 ? Yes or No ?

    Do you believe Christ is successful in the same ? Will He successfully seek and SAVE all that was Lost, all whom God desires to be saved ? Yes or No !
     
  14. Protestant

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    PT, I appreciate the time you have taken to answer my previous 4 questions.

    Rather than continue the discussion on those points, I would like to deal with what I believe is the ‘heart of the matter’ as indicated by the above quotation of yours.

    When a sane man makes a plan to achieve an objective, he first begins with a specific objective or goal in mind.

    In order to achieve that goal a sane man must take into consideration the means necessary to achieve a successful end.

    Assuming the means are within his reach, he then must take steps which he hopes will lead him to ultimately achieve his objective.

    But because man is human, he frequently fails to meet his objectives.

    Our all-wise God is a tad more intelligent than we.

    Furthermore, He is all-powerful.

    He does not lack the means and knowledge to achieve His objective, not matter the objective.

    Because of these perfect attributes, whatever God purposes, He always achieves with 100% success.

    declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

    Intelligent beings begin with the goal – the objective.

    The infinitely wise and all-knowing God knows the end of all things because it was with the end – the goal or objective – that He began.

    declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

    Since Christ’s goal/objective/mission was to save His people from their sins, several truths are inferred:

    1. Christ knows the identity of ‘His people.’

    They are the sheep, not the goats.

    They are the wheat, not the tares.

    They are spiritual Israel, not carnal Israel.

    They are the elect, not the reprobate.

    The Lord knows those who are his

    2. His knowledge of their identities has been known from eternity.

    Known to God from eternity are all His works.

    3. ‘His people’ are the same ones given Him by the Father before the foundation of the world.

    I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

    4. It is on their behalf that He intercedes on the cross:

    Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.

    5. It is their names who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world.

    And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.

    6. Their names were able to be written before the world was created - before they were born - because the Lord never fails to achieve His goals.

    They will infallibly and absolutely be saved by the Lamb of God.

    They include Elect from all over the world, out of every tribe, tongue and nation.

    All men without distinction, not all men without exception.

    7. Christ’s purpose, goal, intention, mission was to save His people.

    His mission was not to ‘attempt’ or ‘try very hard’ to save His people.

    Nor was His mission of offer man the ‘possibility’ of salvation.

    His mission was to actually, infallibly, absolutely achieve the salvation of His people.

    8. When Christ cried out on the cross, “It is finished,” it is to be interpreted as “I have achieved perfectly the goal, objective, mission my Father gave me.”

    9. Because the salvation of His people was designed and executed by the all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful God Almighty, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE THAT IT FAIL IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.

    Therefore, unless you believe that God has set aside His divine attributes of infinite wisdom, power and perfection, failing to save those whom He desires to actually save, you must conclude that those who are not saved were never intended to be part of His election of grace in the first place.

    Now if, according to your human wisdom, you feel it unjust of God to choose some and reject others before they were born, you fall into the same category as those to whom Paul addresses in Romans 9:14 and Romans 9:19.

    Please keep in mind that salvation is deserved of no one.

    It is God’s prerogative to show mercy as He wills and to deny mercy as He wills.

    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.

    Man’s so-called ‘free will’ or so-called ‘good works’ is not a factor in salvation, let alone a deciding factor.

    So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

    The human mind recoils at these truths.

    The regenerate mind of Christ embraces them with much humility, thanksgiving and praise.

    O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out.
     
  15. Rippon

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    Another sane, sound, biblically informative, clear and edifying post Protestant. Thank you.
     
  16. PreachTony

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    Of course. I appreciate that you brought thoughtful questions and not just doctrinal rhetoric.

    Just curious, but where do the more Calvinistic among your side come up with the idea that Christ is praying for the Elect here? I've only ever read that as Christ praying for those performing the crucifixion on him. I just don't see any contextual clues to indicate a sudden switch in perspective away from the immediate situation into some spiritual reverie concerning the Elect.

    Nor have I tried to say that it is. I do not believe I did anything to earn my salvation. Consider Noah and his family. The ark was their salvation, and remains a type and shadow of salvation today. But God didn't move Noah onto the ark without Noah's consent. No. Noah and his family had to move themselves to enter the ark, but it was God who shut the door and God who provided the salvation. Consider the Romans that Paul wrote to, telling them that they had to believe and call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. Couple that with Paul's instruction to the Ephesians, where he says we are saved by grace through faith. Obviously, Paul was not counting belief/faith as a "work," ergo salvation still requires us to believe/have faith.

    It is also God's will that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance. It is also God's commandment that all men everywhere should repent. Jesus came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17 is, itself, a conditional statement. If the sacrifice of Christ was indeed the finality that Calvinism claims it to be, instead of the means by which people are saved, and if the "world" of John 3 is indeed only the Elect, as many Calvinists claim, then shouldn't that verse read "that the Elect through Him would be saved"? But instead the verse leaves open the possibility for the whole world to come to Him. He claimed that if He was lifted up, He would draw ALL men unto Him. The Bible tells us many are called, but few are chosen. 2 Peter 2:1 tells us of heretics and false prophets who deny "the Lord that bought them." If the Lord never died for them in the first place, then how can Peter say the Lord had bought them?

    Again, so why did Paul tell the Romans they had to call upon the name of the Lord? Why did Jesus issue a great commission that the disciples should go and preach tot he nations? If God has already decided all these things; and not one of the Elect may lose their Election; nor can one of the non-Elect gain Election, then why bother? This is the logical evangelical end-point of Calvinism. Cornelius and his household were obviously already regenerated and, as such, were clearly of the Elect before Peter ever got there.

    We don't all agree that they are truths. Surely, the Calvinists will agree with you, as they should. You present a reasoned definition of their doctrine. The non-Calvinists will, most likely, though I cannot speak for all, agree with me that the "truths" you espouse are not as clearly evident in the Bible as you believe.

    Please remember, though, that my camp is not purporting the notion that man can come into salvation by himself, of his own desire. We still require God to draw. As I tried to show earlier, we see the scene of Christ standing at the door and knocking as one in which the man in the house must choose to open the door. We see you theology as stating that man has no choice. If he is Elect, he will have the grace to open the door. If he is not Elect, he will never receive the grace to open the door.
     
  17. tyndale1946

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    I will not discuss how God works as the Salvation of his children belongs only to him... In my understanding of scripture he does it ALL!... We agree to disagree and there is only one thing that is a surety!

    Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for his shall save his people from their sins.

    Calvinist or Arminian or whatever this is OUR ONLY HOPE!... Brother Glen
     
    #17 tyndale1946, May 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2015
  18. Rebel

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    Not sure why my post was deleted. I didn't realize censorship was a policy here.
     
  19. convicted1

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    You compared us to islamists....
     
  20. steaver

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    Good job rightly dividing the Word of Truth brother.

    Can any Calvinist here tell us what is wrong with this scripture...?

    Is 1:18-20 - "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If I shall make ye willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."
     

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