Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Isaiah 46:9-11
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Isaiah 45:7
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? Amos 3:6
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Col. 1:16,17
And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee. 1 Kings 22:20-23
And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee. 2 Chron. 18:19-22
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thess. 2:7-12
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. Rev. 17:16,17
All scriptural citations are from the King James Version
We will now examine the most rarely believed doctrine in the history of professed Christianitythe affirmation that Gods sovereign will is absolutely unitary and apermissive. This teaching affirms that God has no permissive will, that He purposes nothing contrary to His positive pleasure, that nothing in the entire history of the universe from its inception to eternity future is contrary to Gods direct, positive, and causative will. This is what is meant by the Active Decree of God.
Compared to the rare affirmation of Supralapsarianism and even more sparse confession of Eternal Justification, the teaching of Gods Active Decree is virtually nonexistent in existing writings of Christian belief. It cannot be found in any well-published theological work except certain of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Those who confess it will be derided as rebels against the church and shunned with this affirmation: No one believes that! Those who dare to boldly affirm this biblical truth must accept the lot of the least of Christs brethren who will never be ministered to by churchianity.
The Confessions and Systematic Theologies of Calvinism all speak in terms of permission when it comes to affirming Gods purpose in relation to sin. In this respect the Reformed teachings are no different from the Pelagian, Eastern, Roman Catholic, Free Will Nonconformist, Wesleyan, or Arminian views. Yet the concept of God merely allowing or permitting anything in history is entirely absent from all scripture. The Bible, as evidenced by the scriptures cited above and many more, present God as the ultimate and primary cause of all things broken (the darkness) as well as all things whole (the light). There has never been an English Bible that correctly translates the Causative Hebrew tense in all passages where it is present. In this context it is interesting to observe the New American Standard Bible translation of Isa. 45:7:
The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the LORD who does all these.
In a serious attempt to be faithful to the original meaning, the translators correctly expressed the causative tense and the compound meaning of the Hebrew word SHALOM as well-being (often horribly mistranslated as peace or absence of material conflict). But they completely retain the traditional mistranslation of RA as material calamity when its true meaning as the opposite of SHALOM is brokenness of being. It refers to all things of the darkness in contrast to the light that God creates. This includes both material calamity AND spiritual wickedness/rebellion. So let us unlearn the awful bias and false assumptions of Platonic philosophy and historical theology that is grounded in such philosophy.
So how will we evaluate the Protestant movement labeled as Calvinism? Most teachings on Gods sovereignty speak in terms of the Divine decrees (plural) and even try to ascribe a sequential order to such decrees. The history of redemption is viewed in terms of a left-to-right timeline with God reacting to earlier tragic events with later planned purposes. Since only a portion of history is affirmed to be caused directly by God, the events of the ages must be divided into categories of active and passive decrees. Such an exercise is the product of denying the unitary will of God. If God decrees to permit the fall as one of His first logical steps in ordering his purposes, He is not actively engaged in causing all things to His own pleasure.
If we think of Gods predestining of events in terms of a timeline, the end must always come first and the beginning must be last. God declares the end from the start. His ultimate purposes in history (both in redemption and in damnation) are the very first stop in understanding why and how He orders everything that comes before. Even in ordinary human experience, the most accurate understanding of historical events is gained by looking at final outcomes first and stepping through a reverse timeline. History is studied in the wrong order. The liars revisionist view of history is most easily persuaded by looking at events in a timeline of early to late. In meditating on the events surrounding a crime, for example, a defense lawyer will focus on the early profile of when a criminal appeared to be a better person in an age of innocence. This is proposed to be the best vantage point from which to interpret motive and intent. In real life the exact opposite is true. The discernable thinking and actions occurring latest in time of a persons cognizant and free-acting earthly experience most clearly reveal the nature of the same persons soul.
Why is it necessary to focus on the views of Calvinistic Protestantism when evaluating the validity of historical theology? Because those sects professing Reformed soteriology are the most adamant in affirming a predestinarian view of the gospel where the decision of man has no possible role in determining salvation. In all other sectarian systems of professed Christian doctrine, man has the power to reject salvation initially or ultimately through personal choice. In Pelagianism, man even has the power to gain salvation by exercising the free will that is proposed to exist equally in every soul. So Calvinism is the historical watershed in matters of soteriology; it alone in the history of dogma teaches a redemption grounded exclusively in the sovereign Grace of God in Christ. But the Calvinistic doctrine of God in His relation to the totality of history is a paradoxical hybrid of predestination and permissive foreknowledge. It denies that God actively purposes and causes sin and all things dark. So in this respect it is the same as Pelagianism, Arminianism, Wesleyanism, and Lutheranism. The events of history wherein the rebellious evil of demons and mankind leads to specific and exact outcomes of darkness are denied to be caused ultimately and primarily by God. So history is a mixture of predestination and bare foreknowledge, just like it is in the teachings of Arminianism. Such teachings lead to a lack of confidence of Gods ultimate triumph in the universe, since logic alone dictates that no historical outcome is certain if every thought and action involved in the outcome are not precisely foreordained by causative determination.
There are many lies in the historic doctrine of Calvinistic Protestantism that result from an affirmation of Gods permissive decrees. These all deny the history of the universe as resulting from one Active Decree of God:
1. The imagined fall of Satan and demons; though no such event is ever mentioned in scripture. If God created demons and their wicked state of soul by direct purpose, there is no fall of demons except their loss of authority and liberty in the course of time.
2. The imagined fall of Adam and Eve from a state of perfect holiness. Adam fell from his former estate of paradise and happiness after committing the great sin, however, the sin only manifested the rebellion already present in his soul by Gods active determination.
3. The imputation of Adams sin to the entire human race (scripture only knows of two imputations2 Cor. 5:21). Adam represented all of elect humanity in his rebellion but he was not their substitute. God creates evil in every elect soul from conception in the likeness of Adams created proclivity to evil--as an execution of positive decree.
4. Tertullians myth of Traducianism. This is the notion that eternal human souls are created through biological sexing of the parentsand that sin is transmitted through the genes. It was formulated only to deny that the sinful nature inherited by every human being is the result of Gods direct cause.
5. The notion that planned acts of sin are invented strictly by those who commit them, not purposed actively and specifically by God in contrast to all otherwise possible acts. In this affirmation of passive decree, God foreknows the sins that men end up planning and reluctantly says let it happen but does not put the inclination to specific acts of evil in their hearts. So God does not actively direct mens evil impulses toward only one possible course of action. The end of such teaching is this: no outcome of history can be absolutely guaranteed by God. Paradox theologians will always deny this implication and enshroud their illogical affirmations as a mystery of God that cant be comprehended.
6. The big bang origin of the universe and subsequent evolutionism. This teaching, affirmed as indisputable fact by scientists, is gaining rapid popular acceptance in Calvinistic circles as the teachings of Gods permissive decree are more boldly affirmed every day. Unity with the skeptics in love, where possible, to gain respect is perceived as virtuous. The logic is clearif God merely permits much of what occurs historically (whether to His regret or otherwise), there is no problem with the views of science that God caused a colossal nuclear explosion to start the universe and allowed it to take its natural course beyond that point.
7. Preterist Gnosticism. The number of Calvinistic full Preterists continues to explode. This theory harmonizes a lot with the big bang theory and evolution. If there is no special intervention by God in the material universe with respect to the earths origins, neither is there any special intervention of God in the future material course of the earth. According to many scientists, a supernova extinction of the sun resulting in a black hole will ultimately destroy earthly life! Such is the conclusion resulting from the denial of Gods active preservation of the material earth and universe to arrive at the final glorious destiny He has purposed for mans eternal habitation. In Preterist and Greek theology redemption is wholly of the spirit; no material redemption is pertinent.
8. Premillennial and Postmillenial eschatology. In order to realize the blessings of redemption at the level of glory that God purposes, these notions propose that in the future He will change from exercising permissive will to a more direct intervention through a final eschatological miracle. This must occur before the final coming of Christ in order to get enough people saved. Is God not able to save all of His elect in the present historical process? Is the power of the Holy Spirit in the age of the gospel not enough?
9. Denial that God often miraculously heals, gives visions, blesses materially, works apparent miracles, and causes specific false doctrine to be taught in order to send a strong delusion upon the non-elect. Many are deceived into thinking that if God causes an event, it could not be a deception. Scripture teaches otherwiseGod sends a strong delusion in the form of MANY false religions experiencing apparent supernatural origins. This is punishment on the great sin of many generations rejecting the apostolic gospel and chasing after fables. God laughs at mans foolishness by sending miracles that increase deception and a false security that everything is fine. Let us remember that God took away much of the ability of devils to work miracles in the Last Days when He cast them out of heaven and cast Satan into the bottomless pit. Though the spirits of devils do perform miracles today as agents of God (the apostasy is after the working of Satan), we must not forget the direct miracles that God may perform (with no demonic mediation) to send a strong delusion upon those who hate the truth.
10. Canon theology. This teaching denies that God would actively cause men to accept as scripture writings teaching damnable heresy. So we do not need to worry about testing all things by the gospel that men have handed down to us as the pure Word of God without spot or wrinkle.
11. The false doctrines of what constitutes truth: hermeneutics of paradox, synthesis, analogy, and compartmentalization. All of these support the notion that God has multiple wills that cant be fully or logically harmonized.
12. Sacerdotalism (churchianity). Since men dont have confidence that God will sovereignly lead them into truth by His active decree, they have to depend on others to lead them. God is proposed to actively bring truth to only to leaders that must mediate it to others. It is to be found no where else except in churchian organizations.
13. Common grace and the free offer to the dead. Men try and shower Gods grace upon the non-elect in order to mitigate the notion that He takes pleasure in His purposed wrath. So God sends the wicked to damnation with tears and divine frustration in order to satisfy an eternal justice that is beyond His power to change. He mourns eternally over His inability to prevent those passed over by the demands of justice from going into the eternal torments He had to create.
In contrast to all the vomit invented by the delusions of men trying to defend Gods reputation, as if He needed such defense, the wonderful doctrine of Gods single Active decree is the greatest comfort that we can know. It is no mystery to those upon whom God has shone the final lightthe new wine of the true gospel. The darkness of this age is temporal; the light is eternal. Man cannot discover truth by examining the present universeit is mostly darkness and radiation! The glorious light of the gospel can only be known by the miracle of regeneration. The truth of Gods single Active Decree is so integral to the light that it cannot be comprehended without it.
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