John 10:28-29 - No snatching

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Ben Elohim, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. Ben Elohim

    Ben Elohim
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    "I give them eternal life and they will never perish to the age and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father who has given them to me is greater than all and no one will snatch out of the hand of my Father." (John 10:28).

    Here we have another favorite passage of the Calvinists. In this passage, they think that Jesus is teaching that once a person has been born again, then there is nothing between their new birth event and Jesus' second coming which will result in their total apostasy and falling short of salvation when Jesus comes again. They see that Jesus is saying that once anyone is in his hand, then they are there to stay. This misinterpretation of John 10:28-29 comes from a misguided understanding of John 10. If we look back into the preceding context, we will find just what Jesus is talking about.

    If we go back to verse 10:8, we see that Jesus taught us the Pharisees were but hirelings but He himself was the Good Shepherd. The hirelings did not really care for the sheep and when the wolf came (i.e. the devil) this thief, snatched and destroyed the sheep. On the other hand, Jesus teaches that he is the Shepherd of the sheep and nothing, such as the wolf, can come and snatch the sheep and destroy them.

    The devil is understood to be that person who holds the power of death (Heb 2:14). He is the wolf in this passage. He comes to "snatch" the sheep. The Greek word used here, harpazo, is the same word used in verses 10:28,29. It simply means to "grab", "snatch", "seize", and in some contexts it means "to rob/steal." However Jesus says that no one can "snatch" or "seize" out of his hand as the devil was able to "snatch" out of the hand of the hirelings.

    Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil (1 Jn 3:8). He does this by taking people out of the world and giving them life. In the world, there is death and the devil holds the power of death and no one is powerful enough in any way to stop the devil, the wolf, from seizing people for death. However, in Jesus is life and Jesus has the power of life and all those who are in him cannot be touched by death. He teaches, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one believing into me, though he die, shall live. And everyone living and believing in me shall not die to the age" (11:25-26).

    The Pharisees were not faithful shepherds to the disciples and the Jewish people nor did they have the power to prevent anyone from suffering death by the wolf, the devil, who comes and seizes the sheep to destroy them in death. But Jesus is the resurrection and the life and does have that power and those who believe in Jesus share the life which is in him.

    We also need to take careful note of John 18:8 where Jesus demands that his disciples be let go from arrest and persecution. Then John adds in the next verse that this occurred so that his word might be fulfilled which said, "I will lose none of those whom you gave to me." The word translated as "lose" is the Greek word "apollymi." This word means literally "to loose from" and is often translated as "to perish" or "to destroy." When it is translated as "lose" it means that the relationship between the thing which could be lost and the keeper of the thing is "destroyed." The same word is used at John 3:15-16, 6:39, 12:25 and 17:12. In verse 18:9, John is indicating that the disciples were preserved from suffering physical death at the hands of the soldiers.

    The word "apollymi" is used both at John 10:28 and John 10:10. Here we are to see the contrast between the wolf destroying the sheep (death) and the Good Shepherd giving the sheep eternal life. The wolf comes and "snatches" the sheep away from the hirelings but the wolf cannot "snatch" the sheep away from Christ. In other words, those who believe in Jesus have eternal life by virtue of their faith union with Eternal Life, that is Jesus himself, and the the devil cannot snatch them and bring death to them because they are in Christ who is life. Essentially what Jesus is saying is that the devil has no power over life, only power to kill and destroy unto death.

    Jesus emphasizes his teaching at verse 20. Here he says he and the Father are one. Also notice in verse 29 that Jesus says no one can snatch out of the Father's hand and now notice that he says in verse 28, "no one will snatch them out of my hand? Why will this not happen? It will not happen because the Father is greater than all and therefore no one can snatch out of his hand and since Jesus and the Father are one, therefore no one will snatch out of Jesus' hand.

    So Jesus is teaching us that those who are in a faith union with him cannot be brought to death by the devil because they are indeed united with Life who is Christ (1 Jn 1:2). The Calvinist, however, does not understand that this assurance is true only by virtue of remaining in Christ our Life, which he exhorts the disciples to do at John 15:1ff. Because the Calvinist perceives his assurance of salvation as a "condition" rather than perceiving that Christ himself is our salvation and Christ himself is our assurance, he runs himself into error. The Christian assurance is not a condition of remaining in Christ but Jesus Christ himself and this is the very point of making sure we remain in him and in this way make our calling and election sure by union with the Elect One of God. He is our hope, He is our salvation, he is our assurance of salvation and this is why we put our faith in him. The Calvinist, thinking his assurance to be a condition he is in, confuses it with the assurance of salvation which is Christ himself. Christ has not give us a condition of assured salvation; he has given us himself for our assurance and if we want this assurance to always be with us we must remain in Christ our Assurance. Hence, to be safe in this hand of the Good Shepherd is necessarily conditional upon our faith in Christ our hope and assurance. The condition of our faith relationship is not an assured condition. Rather, Christ our Salvation is our Assurance of Salvation and it is only if we remain faithful to this Assurance that we can be sure that nothing can come and snatch us out of his hand. And this is why Jesus instructs his disciples to "Remain in me."

    For those who are believing in Christ it is absolutely true that the devil, nor anyone, can snatch them from Christ's hand unto death. The devil has no power over Christ our Life. Our life is hidden in Christ above. However, as we are reminded by Paul at 2 Corinthians 13:5, we must constantly examine ourselves to see whether we are indeed in the faith and in Christ. Our faith in Christ is not assured; we must endeavour ourselves to remain faithful to him. Indeed, this is why we have faith. We put our faith in Christ because he is our assurance and only here in Him does the devil have no power over us. Our assurance is Christ, not a condition apart from Christ. If we faithfully remain in Christ our eternal life is indeed assured. But if we are found not to be in the faith, neither will we find ourselves in the hand of the Good Shepherd and thus we expose ourselves to the power of the devil for death.

    Our faith in Christ is not assured. Our assurance is Christ himself, not a condition of remaining in Christ. Christ himself is our assurance and we need to faithfully remain in him to have assurance of eternal life because that life is only there in him our Eternal Life. And it is only if we remain faithful to him, that we are in the hands of the Good Shepherd.

    The Calvinist wrongly concludes his assurance is "remaining in Christ." This is not the case. Our assurance IS Christ and no one has assured anyone that remaining in Christ is assured. Jesus' point at John 10:28-29 is not that the Christian can depart from remaining in Christ. His point is that his sheep are those who are actually and truly IN HIM. And those who are in him cannot be snatched unto death by the devil because death cannot happen in Christ and the devil has no power or authority over the risen body of Jesus in whom we believers abide.

    Now despite Jesus' words at John 15:1-6 ro "remain in me," Calvinists will ignore all this and affirm to themselves that Jesus' Sheep are by definition those who will and must "remain in him" and therefore their salvation is indeed assured, and perhaps facilitate their ideas by running to Luke 15, and then try to assure us that Jesus' sheep will never get away from his flock. Now why Calvinists will ignore the command to "Remain in me" or be cast into the fire in order to resort to this favorite notion of theirs is an interesting study of the human mind in itself. It seems that contradictions to Scripture are irrelevant to the Calvinist and the only important thing to him is no contradictions in TULIP even if it contradicts Scripture. When such things occur, contrivances are always in order.

    So then, how can we be sure that Jesus is not teaching anyone here that his sheep are those who will and must remain in him and will not get away from his flock? Well, John 15:1-6 should be our first clue and it cannot be ignored for the sake of John 10 as if to imply one passage is true and the other is not. But what about the context of John 10? The answer is found at John 10:21:

    Others were saying, "These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?"

    This is a direct reference to the events of John 9 and so we can clearly see that the topic has not changed. Calvinists have a propensity for reading things out of context especially by forgetting that chapter and verse notations and the like are not a part of the original text of the Bible. Let us go back to John 9.

    So they said to him, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?" He answered them, "I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?" They reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. "We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from." The man answered and said to them, "Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. "We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. "Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. "If this man were not from God, He could do nothing." They answered him, "You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?" So they put him out. Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you." And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped Him. And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind." Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, "We are not blind too, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, `We see,' your sin remains..

    In other words, they were self-deceived liars who knew the truth but refused to accept it because they loved the ministry of darkness and death, the Law of Moses (see 2 Corinthians 3:1-8).

    This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:20-21).

    You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life... For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:38-40).

    They didn't believe Moses either. They were blind men deceiving themselves.

    Jesus' sheep know his voice. Jesus' sheep are believers. Believers cannot be killed by the devil, that is, "snatched out of Jesus' hand." These men were not his sheep because they refused to hear the Word of God - Jesus. Without any evidence whatsoever, the Calvinist would like to eisegetically read "my sheep" to mean "those ones that God chose before creation to be his sheep." But there is no evidence for such a claim and it is nothing but eisegetical interpretation of Scripture. Calvinists seem to have the mistaken notion that they can read any truism into any Scripture and this is why they do it.

    Jesus taught that his teaching was not his own but the Father's who sent him. Jesus taught them right here that he and the Father were one. This is because Jesus is the Word of God, the Word of the Father. To reject Jesus is to reject God because Jesus is God's Word to them. And this brings us back to our passage in question:

    The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me.

    The critical juncture on the truth of this matter comes right here because the very next verse says:

    "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

    And it is right here the Calvinist makes his mistake. He eisegetically presumes these men cannot believe because they are not the elect (as they define 'the elect'), "my sheep." And so, despite other passages tothe contrary, he concludes, "the sheep are the elect who come to him hearing his voice and the sheep are the elect who therefore will remain in him." Now for their error.

    Not all Israel are Israel. A true Jew is one who is a Jew inwardly and true circumsision is a circumcision of the heart in spirit and not of the letter. "Sheep" is a word God often uses to describe Israel. However, the true sheep are not simply Israel by natural human descendency from Abe, Isaac, and Jake. Not all Israel are Israel. True Israel are those who are faithful to the concept and purpose of Israel - people who are faithful to God. These Jews were relying on the flesh and the letter and not in spirit and in the heart. The true Jew was one who listened and learned from the Father and Jesus IS the Word of the Father. These were not true Jews. They were not true Israel. They were disobedient by choice.
    They did not do what was commanded of them by God:

    Circumcise yourselves to the LORD And remove the foreskins of your heart, Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Or else My wrath will go forth like fire And burn with none to quench it, Because of the evil of your deeds." (Jeremiah 4:4).

    God's sheep are those who worship him in spirit. These men appealed to the flesh saying, "Abraham is our father" and "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." Those who do such things are not God's sheep. Sheephood is a choice. The sheep are those who circumcise their own hearts unto the LORD.


    The Calvinist wrongly concludes his assurance is "remaining in Christ." This is not the case. Our assurance IS Christ and no one has assured anyone that remaining in Christ is assured. Jesus' point at John 10:28-29 is not that the Christian can depart from remaining in Christ. His point is that his sheep are those who are actually and truly IN HIM. And those who are in him cannot be snatched unto death by the devil because death cannot happen in Christ and the devil has no power or authority over the risen body of Jesus in whom we believers abide.

    "Remain in me." - Jesus
     
  2. rc

    rc
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    BEn,
    "Because the Calvinist perceives his assurance of salvation as a "condition" rather than perceiving that Christ himself is our salvation and Christ himself is our assurance, he runs himself into error."

    But then you say,
    "And it is only if we remain faithful to him, that we are in the hands of the Good Shepherd."

    THAT is a condition ! Like contradicting yourself do you?

    Wrong statement about the "faith" of the pharisees Ben. You try to turn the verse on it's head. You are not my sheep BECAUSE you do not believe... Sorry, can't do that.

    Jeremiah 4:4 .... You poor Arminians, always trying to make an imperative into an indicative.
    He's making an IMPERATIVE statement... along with ALL, 100% of ALL those "choose" statements in the O.T. !! He's stating something they OUGHT to do, not something they CAN do, this is implied by the grammer! Luther destroyed Erasumus with these humanistic, man centered ideas in "The Bondage of the Will" try reading it sometimes. Or, if you know Hebrew, check for yourself. All God did is give commands to the Jews to show them that they COULD NOT follow them, to drive them to rely on Him. But they "choose" works by thinking they could "choose" to follow the law verses trusting in God for salvation. They believed they could "save themselves" by "Choosing" to follow something they couldn't!

    It's they same in Christ's IMPERATIVE's in the N.T. Throughout John and Romans.
    You do not believe BECAUSE you are not my sheep.

    NO MAN SEEKS AFTER GOD, NO NOT ONE!!!

    Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

    Man doesn't circumcise his own heart, GOD DOES!!

    Nice emphasis on "The wolf" also Ben. But nobody INCLUDES yourself. If you are saved you are, if your not, and think you are by going to church, and reading your Bible, your still a hypocrite and will eventually fall away... because you are not saved. You can't put yourself IN His hand and you can't take yourself out.
     
  3. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Ben Elohim: //"I give them eternal life and they will never perish to the age and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father who has given them to me is greater than all and no one will snatch out of the hand of my Father." (John 10:28). //

    I call. Show your hand.
    Please tell me what Bible you got that from. Thank you.
    Your version agrees with none of my bibles (i have
    24 different ones on my computer desk).
    BTW, that seems to be John 10:28-29

    Needless to say, if i cannot verify the first paragraph,
    there is no reason to even bother reading additional
    paragraphs of your OP.
     
  4. rc

    rc
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    Good point Okie....
     
  5. rc

    rc
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    Ed,
    Do you have "Bibleworks"?
     
  6. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    I don't have Bibleworks.

    I have on e-sword:

    1. Geneva Bible
    2. KJV1679 with Strong's numbers
    3. KJV1611 edition

    I use crosswalk.com for my on-line bibles

    I have about 2 dozen different verstions on
    my computer desk (paper). I'm not going to
    buzz through them all, i have to account for my
    time before God. I have to check every scripture
    i read to see if it really is in God's many wonderful
    Bibles.
     
  7. rc

    rc
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    If you know greek and hebrew, check out bibleworks ... it's amazing.
     
  8. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    From top to bottom

    Pluck
    Snatch
    Snatch
    Snatch
    Snatch
    ?
    ?
    Steal
    Pluck
    seize
    wrest
    Pluck

    Do these not all mean the same thing?
     
  9. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    SALVATION is a sure thing! And readily available for ALL mankind! But only to humans who have FAITH in God. God simply does not save those who lack faith in HIM, in Jesus his Son, and even on the Name of Jesus. Any human not having such faith as these is cast into the lake of fire...NO salvation for them.

    HUMAN FAITH is the "Weakest Link" and that is why humans are told repeatedly to "keep the faith", to persevere, to remain FAITH full, to not forget from whence comes our SALVATION.
     
  10. rc

    rc
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    Human faith is weak, that's why those who hold to that belief have a weak God.

    My God Saves. Perfectly, and completely. My hope is in a God that will keep me. My faith depends on God and His perfect faith He gave me not in something week and evil as anything a human can contrive.
     
  11. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    Human weakness does not equate to a weak God!

    If you do not do your part, which is keep the faith, God is not under any obligation to do his part which is saving those who have faith. God has no faith, and therefore cannot have nor give perfect faith to anyone. Your faith is yours alone and only you can strive toward perfecting it through hearing the word of God, the more you do, the more perfect your faith becomes.
     
  12. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Thank you for the advise.

    I have no knowledge of any language but English. So i have 24 paper copies of the
    Bible IN ENGLISH on my computer desk.
     
  13. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    Ed,
    I can recommend "The Holy Scriptures" from Christian Technologies. Their toll free is 1-800-366-8320.

    It certainly saves "computer desk" space and is easy to use.
     
  14. rc

    rc
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    "If YOU do not do your part"
    "only YOU can strive toward perfecting it"
    " the more YOU do, the more perfect your faith becomes."

    MY faith comes from God. It was started by God, perseveres by God and completetd by God.

    He who BEGAN a good work in you with be FAITHFULL to complete it.

    YOU keep working WES. I'll rest in the faith God gave me. I can rely on Him. You keep relying on your works.
     
  15. Wes Outwest

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    That's fine rc, but you must recognize that if you do not do your part to keep the relationship going, a separation will occur. You cannot merely rest in, or on the strengths of the other party, because if you do it is human nature to become bored with that kind of relationship. Boredom spawns wanderlust, wanderlust spawns new relationships!

    Take it from one who knows!

    And that's the last I'll disclose on that subject!
     
  16. rc

    rc
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    because if you do it is human nature to become bored with that kind of relationship

    Fortunatly Wes, I have a NEW nature. One that daily rests on Him delights in His ways and in His salvation. This does not make me "Let go and let God"... He commands me to be Holy and make my calling and election sure... I agree with you on that.
     
  17. Wes Outwest

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    Well then do you likewise agree that you have a role in persevering, and that it is because of faith that we take the actions, do the works, necessary to persevere?

    That you cannot just sit in your easy chair waiting on God to do it all!

    If you do he'll leave you in your easy chair and bypass you altogether!
     
  18. Michael Hobbs

    Michael Hobbs
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    Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)

    21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


    Never - not ever : at no time : not in any degree : not under any condition.

    If it were possible to lose your salvation, then Christ could not say, "I never knew you".
     
  19. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Michael Hobbs;
    It's not a matter of Christ saying I never knew you but of the one with the lost faith saying I don't know you anymore. :D
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us All;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  20. rc

    rc
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    It's not a matter ? It's the WHOLE POINT ILL!
    I NEVER KNEW YOU ! It's funny when you get to proof texts where you just have to take the language for what it means and you just push it off and say "It doesn't matter" ... I guess when Christ said "It is finished" , that didn't matter either? ..

    You still are running away and not answering my question either... NO MAN SEEKS AFTER GOD, NO NOT ONE!!
     

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