What can the spiritually dead do?

What can the spiritually dead do?

spiritual-dead The Giving Blog by Cheryl Schatz

1. The spiritually dead can hear

John 5:25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 

2. The spiritually dead can respond 

John 5:25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

And those who hear will live!

The screen shot below shows that in John 5:25b to “hear” means to give careful attention to, listen to, heed. It is an active listening that produces an action.

John 5:25b The Giving blog by Cheryl Schatz

What comes first? The spiritually dead hearing or the coming to life? What do you say?

 

37 thoughts on “What can the spiritually dead do?

  1. Cheryl, I like Dave Hunt’s take on what the spiritual dead can do:

    Dave Hunt, in his book ‘What Love is this?’, quotes A.W Pink (a hyper – Calvinist, the doctrine of which Dave’s book is written against) who wrote

    “There are some who say the unregenerated are dead, and that ends the matter – they cannot have responsibility… Pink.

    Hunt: A corpse in the cemetery is no suitable analogy of the natural man. A corpse is incapable of performing evil. A corpse cannot “despise and reject” Christ (Isa 53:3), cannot “resist the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7:51), cannot disobey the gospel (2 Thess 1:8); but the natural man can and does these things.”

    Me: So there is a difference between the spiritual dead and the natural dead. The natural dead can do nothing but the spiritual dead can indeed hear, repent, respond and believe or reject..

  2. +Darrell Brantingham AMEN and AMEN! I look forward to the day when I can THANK Dave Hunt personally. That book (What LOVE is THIS?) was my lifeline when Calvinism came close to pushing me away permanently.

    I HATED the god the Calvinists were showing me; On one hand, I KNEW this couldn’t be the same ‘person’ I heard about in my church. But the WHAT IF’s was driving me nuts! How could the God who loved me just wave off friends and family into hell without so much as a shrug. Who am I that I’m better than they were that I could be part of this ‘elect’ as Calvinism defined it??

    Re: Physical during spiritual death. Jesus called Lazarus from the dead with three words; LAZARUS, COME FORTH! And He only had to do that once. But with the religious leaders, the Lord could talk and talk …and talk and not get through. Why? THEIR WILL. Their stubborn pride. Not that GOD was refusing them entry, but that they wouldn’t accept the invite.

  3. The bible uses a lot of metaphorical language, sometimes we make it literal. example is the metaphor of “dead.” I like the verses quoted by Dave Hunt to explain the difference between “spiritual and natural dead”. To me this is clear.

  4. HI Rolando, welcome to my blog! You are right in that dead can be physical or spiritual. The prodigal son is the primary source of what a spiritually dead person is like. When we see a passage that could be either spiritual or physical, we must look carefully at the context to determine which it is.

    In the passage that I quoted above, Steven Lawson from Ligonier Ministries, a well known ministry of R C Sproul, teaches that John 5:25 refers to the spiritually dead. So we have their agreement that those who hear are the spiritually dead. It is a very powerful testimony from Jesus who ought to know what the spiritually dead can do.

  5. Hi Cheryl; Unless I miss my guess, Jesus spoke to the SPIRITUALLY dead every day. The common people, who drank in Christ’s parables, like water, but had a harder time when He got down to meat and potatoes doctrine. (Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you).

    Dialogues with the religious leaders must’ve made Jesus wonder if it would make more sense for Him to try to preach to the Wailing Wall! 😉 Whereas, Lazarus, 4 days (physically) dead, was easier to reach than those with their education and pride in their education.

    So the next time a Calvinist insists that the spiritually dead are compatible with being physically dead, remind them that Jesus was able to reach a guy who hadn’t been breathing for three days. OUR PRIDE is the stumbling block. Not that God doesn’t want to reach us, but we have crammed our ears with our own views, accomplishments and desires. Physically dead people lack that problem. 🙂

  6. Thanks for those comments! There is a lot to think about.

    I think the only thing I want to add is that the physically dead don’t have a choice to hear Jesus or not. Jesus will resurrect all to face eternity either with Him or in the lake of fire. All will be resurrected and not just some.

    Yet with the spiritually dead, only those who hear will live. Not all. There has to be a willingness to hear and to pay attention. It isn’t just a sound, but words of life that they are responding to.

    What I like to remind Calvinists about is that Jesus is the one who set up the metaphor of spiritual death. It is the prodigal son, a son who was very much alive and who was very much able to respond to conviction, that is the one who is described as having gone from death to life. Lazarus is not set up as a metaphor for the spiritually dead. That would not work because a physically dead man cannot sin or listen to conviction. A physically dead man is plain dead and can do nothing.

  7. Hi Cheryl 😮 Not to be off-topic…well, not TOO much, but I was watching some vids from WNFJ and found this one video by Eric…G…it’s a German name. Anyway, I practically had to pick my jaw off the floor. This guy was spouting 5 point Calvinism at a conference AGAINST false doctrine. Talk about going from the frying pan into the (Eternal) fire!

    https://youtu.be/j5j16RcRtIc I mean, at least, in the Watchtower, people can leave. It isn’t easy, by any stretch of the imagination, but they can leave. On the other hand, try getting out of HELL if the god of Calvinism consigns a person there, without their even having a choice (as per LIMITED Atonement) .

    So, you have a room full of people, some of them ex-jw’s still trying to shake the cobwebs loose from the whole bit of ONLY 144,000 going to heaven, and that’s it. They go to what they THOUGHT was a safe place, to hear about the Love of Christ, and they hear this guy talking about the five points of Calvinism and God deciding who He would choose for heaven. And these poor souls are thinking, “It’s De Ja Vu all over again!”

  8. I have not yet had time to watch the video, but I intend to. I know Erich. I did not know that he was a Calvinist. I do know that there are a few former JW’s as well as ministries to the cults who have embraced Calvinism. I am hoping that they will view our new DVD when it comes out. I do think that it would be difficult for a former cultist to embrace true Christianity and then find out that what he/she saw was truth has major errors. I feel for them.

  9. SO do I!! What I don’t understand is HOW they can embrace such a HEARTLESS lie. I know Caris (sp?) is Calvinistic. The idea that God loves so many and no more??? I guess it’s part of the ‘temple of their familiar’ , to use a book title.

    Anywho, how much will your dvd be? As soon as I’m back on my financial feet (back to work) I’d love to get a copy!

  10. Rats… should have asked in the last post…. That verse about “Many are Called but few are Chosen” is used to uphold Limited Atonement, but I’m sure that view is false. I’m just not altogether sure what the verse means. Help. THANKS! 🙂

  11. I think that for some, it is like a pride thing. It is pretty special to think that Jesus died for YOU, but for the majority of mankind, He has not offered Himself like He did for YOU and the FEW. Someone who has accepted that doctrine would want to hold on as feeling special is hard to let go of.

    As far as our DVD set, it could be around 5 hours long. It is hard to say at this time because there is still script revisions and editing so that will change things. And it depends on how many DVDs are needed to get the entire teaching into one set. We haven’t set a price yet, but it will also be available for download at a cheaper price.

  12. As far as the question on called and chosen, the simplest way to answer that is to say that it is like the King who invited people to the wedding banquet. The original invitees did not come, so He opened the invitation up to all. The called are all that the invitation we out to, which is all. The chosen are all that actually came. The reason why only few are chosen, is because only few came. It is just like Jesus said, narrow is the road to life and only few find it. The few who find life are called chosen as they came.

  13. Dear Cheryl, you just took the words out of my mouth. THANK YOU!!!

    Problem is, while I was fairly sure that PRIDE had something to do with it, part of me didn’t want to believe it. It’s such a COLD, CRUEL sort of PRIDE. In Screwtape Letters, it’s called SPIRITUAL PRIDE.

    But don’t Calvinists realize that OTHERS need God’s mercy and love as much as they do? Or don’t they care? It’s sooooo Pharisiacal! Akin to the religious leaders of Jesus’ day thinking that they didn’t need to REPENT because they were Abraham’s lineage so they were IN. I guess they don’t care.

    I wouldn’t mind asking how these people would feel if they were on the other side of the LIMITED ATONEMENT they profess with such heartless indifference. GGGgggggrrrrrrrr

    :>

  14. Oh, and THANK YOU for the answer to that called/ Chosen question. I guess that chimes in with “The Son of man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for Many.” The Calvinist will jump on that with both feet. But not if they see that it lines up with John 1. “….He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But to as MANY as received Him, to them He gave the right to be called the children of God….”

    HAPPY WEEKEND!!! 😀

  15. Yes, you may use my name. Sorry for being so slow in answering. I am working long hours on the DVD project so lots of things are set to the back burner.

    As far as pride for Calvinists, they will tell you that they are not prideful but humbled by what God has done for them. If appears that they are very sincere. Their issue of pride is not before God (this is where their humility comes in), but before man (this is where they have a problem of pride). So while a Calvinist can be very humble before God, they can treat their brother or sister in Christ who is not a Calvinist with ridicule, anger, and a stubborn pride that God has “gifted” them with the ability to understand Calvinism while you have not been given that gift. Some even see the fact that you are not a Calvinist with a question on whether you are one of the elect or not. They may not say that to you, but in many of their minds, those who are Calvinists have that as proof that they are indeed one of the elect.

    I don’t have anger towards them. I feel that they have been deceived and I want to treat them as I would want them to treat me if I was deceived. The best way for deceived people is to treat them with respect, care and love of the Lord.

  16. No need to reply. The dvd project comes first! 🙂 😀

    True. Calvinists NEED to be treated as we would talk to a Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon or Marian Catholic. Something I need to remember. Oddly, I can talk to the first three groups with ease, calm and even humor. I think the fact that this deception has …slithered its way into my church brings out my less-than-patient side. But I will do my best to show the patience I would want shown to me, if I were in their place.

    Even as I write, I’ve finished a revision on the opening of my own project; ASKING
    Calvinists rather than trying to preach to them. A policy that should be adopted for dealing with Calvinists, even as it is with JW’s and others, caught in deception.

  17. Playing devil’s advocate here, but all Christians should be sharp in rightly dividing the Word. My son, who was a fact-checker for his law school’s journal has taught me to be very discriminating with Scripture as well. John 5:25 only demonstrates that by an act of God’s speaking to a human heart, some will live. It technically does not say if any other necessary element takes place; that is, it does not specify how or why a person hears with acceptance. I think even Calvinists would agree that God originally must speak, so I don’t see this as an exclusive Arminian verse. If you look at the verse just before, it says “he who hears My word and believes… has everlasting life. The Greek for “has” means “already holds, or possesses.” Plus, the very next phrase reiterates that by emphasizing again that this person who hears and believes “has passed” (Greek, has already passed) from death into life. So, can verse 25 actually be properly used to confirm that some act of God (let’s play rough here… some “effectual” apparatus) isn’t also in play here? In addition, verse 25 says those who hear will live. Thayer’s cites John 5:25 as an example of how life in this text means in the Messianic sense to enjoy life, to live life to its full, eternally. In other words, it doesn’t specifically refer to the theological act of regeneration or rebirth. The bare facts that we can glean from John 5:25 are: there are spiritually dead people, some of which hear God and experience eternal life. What the verse specifically does not teach is: how many people are spiritually dead, how many spiritually dead people hear God, how it comes about that they hear God, or how it is that they are born again spiritually. If anything, Calvinists could perhaps use this verse to demonstrate there is a limited number of people who effectively hear God! I say all this to say, let’s be careful how we use Scripture. There may be other verses to support the idea that spiritually dead people are able to hear God – but this is not one of them, in my humble opinion (just a housewife who enjoys studying). About how we treat Calvinists, my sister said it very well; she said the reason she can “put up” with Calvinists is because she knows they hold their opinions because they believe they are upholding the glory and sovereignty of God. You can call me a sympathizer if you want… But I’d also like to point out that God has gifted his church with pastors and teachers down through the centuries, and among the godliest theologians there is a lengthy list of Calvinists. My daughter had AP Euro in high school this year, which tracks Renaissance and Reformation history. I spent half my life helping her study for that class, and I learned a thing or two. We should all graciously keep in mind that God used many Calvinists to put Scripture into the hands of the common people, and these great men of God paid for it by blood, sweat and tears, literally. Let’s please be kind. Calvinists are not to be equated to Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons, for pity’s sake. My two cents.

  18. Robin,

    You said:

    John 5:25 only demonstrates that by an act of God’s speaking to a human heart, some will live. It technically does not say if any other necessary element takes place; that is, it does not specify how or why a person hears with acceptance

    What it does specify is that the person hears while they are DEAD. That is key. For the majority of Calvinists who believe that a person must be resurrected first to have spiritual life, they cannot conceive that a person can be DEAD and hear. This verse is very troubling to them. Other Calvinists do accept that the dead can hear, but seem to have a problem explaining how the dead can hear if they need to be resurrected to have eternal life.

    You said:

    If you look at the verse just before, it says “he who hears My word and believes… has everlasting life. The Greek for “has” means “already holds, or possesses.”

    That is correct. In verse 24 Jesus adds believing to the ones who are hearing. If you hear AND believe you have eternal life. Thus life comes after the believing.

    Plus, the very next phrase reiterates that by emphasizing again that this person who hears and believes “has passed” (Greek, has already passed) from death into life.

    Yes, that is correct. Once one believes one “has passed” from death to life. The Greek is in the perfect tense and the emphasis is on the present “state of affairs” resulting from the ongoing believing.

    So, can verse 25 actually be properly used to confirm that some act of God (let’s play rough here… some “effectual” apparatus) isn’t also in play here?

    The only thing that we can gain from this verse is that Jesus speaks to the dead person. His speaking is necessary and that it is the dead person themselves that hear is the Greek future active. That means that God is not directly involved in their hearing or else it would be passive.

    In addition, verse 25 says those who hear will live. Thayer’s cites John 5:25 as an example of how life in this text means in the Messianic sense to enjoy life, to live life to its full, eternally. In other words, it doesn’t specifically refer to the theological act of regeneration or rebirth.

    Thayer’s is wrong on this one. And RC Sproul’s ministry (a popular Calvinist ministry teaching the heart and soul of Calvinism) teaches that John 5:25 is about the spiritually dead.

    What the verse specifically does not teach is: how many people are spiritually dead, how many spiritually dead people hear God, how it comes about that they hear God, or how it is that they are born again spiritually.

    What it does teach is foundational: The Spiritually dead can hear and hearing comes before believing. Verse 24 shows that believing comes after hearing and once a person believes that are said that the result is they have eternal life.

    I will carry on in the next comment box.

  19. Robin, you said:

    If anything, Calvinists could perhaps use this verse to demonstrate there is a limited number of people who effectively hear God!

    The limit is not on the first clause but on the second. Notice in verse 25 that they are called “the dead”. This is a term of all, “the dead will hear”. That is all of them. But not all will hear in a way that pays close attention (vs 25) or believe (vs24).

    I am going to add a screen shot to my blog post above so you can see that.

  20. Robin,

    I say all this to say, let’s be careful how we use Scripture. There may be other verses to support the idea that spiritually dead people are able to hear God – but this is not one of them, in my humble opinion (just a housewife who enjoys studying).

    I beg to disagree. Even Steven Lawson from Ligonier Ministries (RC Sproul’s organization) teaches that this verse means the spiritually dead. And they are not alone.

    The Word Bible Commentary which has a Calvinist interpretation, says:

    25 The truth of v 24 is projected on a vast scale. The “hour” that is coming is that of the eschatological future, to which the resurrection of the dead belongs; but it has already entered the present, since the Christ who raises the dead is here. His voice sounds out (cf v 8: Ἔγειρε, “Rise”!) that the “dead” (the mass of humankind, who exist in a condition of spiritual death) may live. The eschatological future which has come into the present bursts on the world through the lifting up of the Christ and embraces the resurrection hour of vv 28–29, for the Christ-event divides and determines all ages (see Blank, Krisis, 134–43).

    Beasley-Murray, G. R. (2002). John (Vol. 36, pp. 76–77). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

    John MacArthur, another Calvinist writes in his The MacArthur Study Bible:

    5:25 hour is coming, and now is. Cf. 4:23. This phrase reveals an already/not yet tension regarding the resurrection. Those who are born again are already “spiritually” resurrected (“now is”; Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13), and yet a future physical resurrection still awaits them (“hour is coming”; 1 Cor. 15:35–54; Phil. 3:20, 21).

    MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 1588). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

    I have the Ligonier series on John 6 and they also say that John 5:25 is about the spiritually dead.

    You wrote:

    But I’d also like to point out that God has gifted his church with pastors and teachers down through the centuries, and among the godliest theologians there is a lengthy list of Calvinists.

    I would not say that Calvinists are not godly people or gifted. I believe that God has placed all of us in the body and that if we learned from each other, we can be as iron sharpening iron. What I see is that Calvinists point out and push us to see verses that nonCalvinists brush over. And nonCalvinists point out verses that Calvinists miss. Together we have no gaps.

    You said:

    Let’s please be kind. Calvinists are not to be equated to Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons, for pity’s sake. My two cents.

    My comments were to show that we should not come across as offensive. You may not have heard of the “cage stage” of new Calvinists, but I have come across more than my fill of them. They are offensive and often easily offended. They don’t want to hear anything. In my sixteen years of working with the cults in a support group for former JW’s and others, I learned that one must be respectful, willing to listen and the best way to earn the right to be listened to is to ask questions. Unfortunately cage-stage Calvinists will not listen at all to nonCalvinists and the best one can do is to plant a stone in their shoe.

    I had one Calvinist who pretty much told me that I was demon possessed and no matter how gentle I was in response to his anger, he kept at me. Years later he emailed me back and told me that he was over his cage-stage and he apologized to me. He said that I was always gentle and respectful even in the midst of his anger.

    gilliansnotebook knows about Jehovah’s Witnesses and she still needs to see that pounding a person even with the truth makes them angry and they leave. If we wish to dialog with our brothers and sisters in Christ over what we see as an error, we need to show respect, love and patience. If all we can do is to ask questions, then that may be as far as we get. God is Sovereign over all of the body, and He can take the truth of His Word and make the seed grow.

    I was happy to hear that you are a housewife. And that you enjoy studying Scripture. You go girl!

  21. Hi cheryl…first time blogger (if thats what I am!)
    the discussion…John 5 starting at v25…Jesus is here talking to an audience of spritually dead people, we know they are spiritually dead because Jesus says “if they hear my word and believe on Him that sent me” (God/Father)…physically dead people cant hear or believe, plus He says “The hour is coming and has NOW COME (its here, its arrived on you lot, the ones Im now speaking to.) which you agree on…the problem I have or rather dont quite understand as to what your saying is the verse after, thats v28, Jesus says “Do not marvel at this” marvel at what? that the dead even though alive are living, or, that He has been given authority to execute judgement, or, that all in the graves will hear His voice at the hour that is coming…we must recognise the audience and the role that Jesus is now playing out before the last vestages of Israel ie, the kingdom of Judah surely (see L Ray Smith on Luke 16 Rich man and Lazarus). Jesus is the pivotal moment in time/eternity things are changing and Jesus is that change. So wouldn’t you think that Jesus in v 28 is talking about “all in the memorial tombs” as those of the Jewish nation that will be judged by their deeds/works under law and not those of the worlds as the jews had no idea at this time of the great shift in Gods purposes neither did the gentiles…I know I can read it now, but then, at that moment Jesus was speaking and making that statement, no one was any the wiser, even many of those who were listening to that statement. So v25 is those who are physically alive (the jews not gentiles) that hear and believe that would become spiritually alive also and those in verse 28 are those that died under law and would have a different set of ways that they would be judged as those who did good deeds that would bring forth life and others deeds that would bring forth death.

    Please forgive me if I am not explaining to well but hope you get what Im saying..Im pretty sure you will. In Christs love

  22. Hi Elaine,

    Welcome to my blog!

    You asked about verse 28. Marvel at what? The Greek is set up with a forwarding pointing device to show that “this” is. The little solid box in the screen print is the forward pointing device is a near distinction as compared to the “far” issue of what is happening now.

    John 5:28 forward pointing device

    The little circle with a dot in it is the target that is being pointed to and you can see if starts with “an hour is coming” and ends with “the resurrection of judgment.” I will answer further in the next comment.

  23. Elaine,

    You said:

    Jesus is the pivotal moment in time/eternity things are changing and Jesus is that change. So wouldn’t you think that Jesus in v 28 is talking about “all in the memorial tombs” as those of the Jewish nation that will be judged by their deeds/works under law and not those of the worlds as the jews had no idea at this time of the great shift in Gods purposes neither did the gentiles

    Actually Jesus said that the pivotal moment in time was from the time of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:12). And when Jesus spoke about graves He referenced is not the memorial tomb that the Jews used and in which Jesus was buried, but the tombs that were in the ground and marked by a memorial stone. This gives no reference to a Jewish-only meaning but for all the dead whom Jesus will raise in the future.

    You said:

    So v25 is those who are physically alive (the jews not gentiles) that hear and believe that would become spiritually alive also

    No, this would be both Jews and Gentiles. Jesus specifically said a time is coming (that would be in the future when both spiritually dead Gentiles and Jews will hear His voice) and now is (the now is only the Jews until the time of Jesus death.)

    You also said:

    and those in verse 28 are those that died under law and would have a different set of ways that they would be judged as those who did good deeds that would bring forth life and others deeds that would bring forth death.

    There are not two ways that people have salvation. There is one way to life.

    Hopefully, I have understood you well enough and explained myself so that you too can understand.

  24. Hi Cheryl…Thanks for your reply…regarding the “pivitol” point.. while I agree with the Matt 11 v 12 words of Jesus…I do believe that He (Jesus) within the realms of those words point to Himself as being the pivotal point as He states in v 28 come unto Me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest (Lord of the Sabbath, eternal rest) While John was used as the announcer, he (John), still didnt know if Jesus was the one see v3 of same chap. John bore witness to Jesus but Jesus had a greater witness ( John 5 v 33, 36) I see scripture as stating quite catagorically that Jesus is the pivitol point in time for the great change that was to take place (John may have ANNOUNCED the change but Jesus IS the change) regarding the jewish nation and also at a later date the gentiles. I hope you read L. Ray Smith, Rich man and Lazarus, great insight into Luke 16 meaning.
    I think also that you did not understand what I said regarding the memorial tombs. I said that its easy for us (christians, jews and gentiles, one flock) NOW to understand the meaning and content (all), but in Jesus’ day the jews did not understand what Jesus meant, although they had the scriptues which spoke of the Christ…they didnt “get it”
    We know that Jesus is particularly talking to THOSE under law as He says in v 23 “That all men should be valueing the son.. AS THEY ARE (or should be) valueing the Father…and why Jesus says TO THE JEWS that “no-one can come to the Son UNLESS the Father draws him” meaning that IF they knew the God of Israel they will now have to know and accept the son and if they do not accept the Son then they never really knew/had the Father in the first place as the Father would give them to Jesus. This is an extremely important point, that the jews hear AND accept. Jesus tells of the time of the gentile calling when He says that “When the son of man is lifted up HE will draw all sorts of men (gentiles) TO HIMSELF (Jesus) as they unlike the jews would not have the problem of overcoming the law and being the chosen nation). Jesus himself says v 39 “Ye search the scriptures (what we know as the O/T) for in them ye think (jews not gentiles) ye have eternal life and they are they which testify about ME. So yes ALL would one day come out of the memorial tombs… but at THAT TIME the jews did not understand. I, me, other christians NOW understand but THEN the jews did not which is the point I was trying to make and obviously failing to do so.
    As regards the “there are not 2 ways to salvation only one way to life” that you said…once again I agree.. it is in Christ… but again you must agree that before Christ came, how could I believe in Him if He was not yet born and I was a little gentile living 500bc somewhere in the English countryside, not having the law, or, the True God of Israel as my Rock… then by which criteria are we judged…for rejecting Christ, cant be, no, but by works, as born out by the greek which says “to the one good doing the up-standing of life, the ones yet the foul practicing the up-standing of judging”John chap 5 v 29. There is a “before” Christ and there is an “after” Christ surley… Christ has already given the criteria for “after” His coming on the scene, hearing Him and believing… and I believe Jesus is giving criteria “before” His arriving on the scene as regards those in the memorial tombs, ie the doing of good.. to life, or, practicing vile things to up-standing of judgement. Hope this clarifies and that you too can understand. In Christ

  25. Hi Elaine,
    Sorry for taking so long to answer. I have been swamped with work and several things that had to be done on time.

    You wrote:

    regarding the “pivitol” point.. while I agree with the Matt 11 v 12 words of Jesus…I do believe that He (Jesus) within the realms of those words point to Himself as being the pivotal point as He states in v 28 come unto Me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest

    When Jesus pointed to Himself, He was pointing to the issue of who is our Saviour. But in the issue of the change of time, and the pivotal sign of the change, Jesus gave us the answer as the time of John the Baptist. It would not be in the nature of our Saviour to say that the time started with John the Baptist, and then turn around and say that the time started with Him. I take the words of Jesus as they are, and the fact that He gives no specific word to make Himself as the time of change. God’s people have always come to God for rest (Exodus 33:14 is just one example.)

    You wrote:

    While John was used as the announcer, he (John), still didnt know if Jesus was the one see v3 of same chap.

    John knew who Jesus was until John became offended. The Father gave testimony to John and John’s witness of what he knew was amazing. John knew that he was not fit to remove the sandals of the Messiah (Matt 3:11), that he needed to be baptized by Jesus (Matt 3:14), he saw the Holy Spirit descending as a dove and lighting on Jesus (Matt 3:16, John 1:32) which was the sign of the Messiah, John heard the voice of the Father from heaven declaring Jesus to be His beloved Son (Matt 3:17), John said that Jesus is the Lamb of God and that it is Jesus who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), John said that Jesus existed before him (John 1:30), John said that he came baptizing in water so that Jesus might be manifested to Israel Israel (John 1:31), John said that the Father spoken to him and gave the witness thaact that Jesus different the one upon whom John saw the Spirit descending and remaining is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit (John 1:33), John said Jesus comes from above (John 3:31), John set his solemn seal to this testimony saying that God’s word about Jesus is true (John 3:33), John said that Jesus speaks the words of God and that Jesus has the Spirit without measure (John 3:34), John said the Father has given all things into Jesus’ hands (John 3:35), John testified that he who believes in Jesus has eternal life (John 3:36), John testified that the one who does not obey Jesus will not see life and the one who does not obey Jesus has the wrath of God abiding on him. (John 3:36)

    You wrote:

    I see scripture as stating quite catagorically that Jesus is the pivitol point in time for the great change that was to take place

    Jesus’ testimony is that John is the point in time. We cannot confuse the change of age to the work of Jesus. Jesus’ testimony cannot be disregarded as if it wasn’t true.

    You wrote:

    I think also that you did not understand what I said regarding the memorial tombs. I said that its easy for us (christians, jews and gentiles, one flock) NOW to understand the meaning and content (all), but in Jesus’ day the jews did not understand what Jesus meant, although they had the scriptues which spoke of the Christ…they didnt “get it”

    While the crowd does not completely understand Jesus, they would get that he was talking about some dead in verse 25 and all the dead in verse 28 of John 5, and that it was for now and later for some of the dead and at the end of the age for all of the dead. The grammar is particular and they would understand His grammar.

    I will continue commenting in the next comment box.

  26. Elaine,

    You wrote:

    We know that Jesus is particularly talking to THOSE under law as He says in v 23 “That all men should be valueing the son.. AS THEY ARE (or should be) valueing the Father…and why Jesus says TO THE JEWS that “no-one can come to the Son UNLESS the Father draws him” meaning that IF they knew the God of Israel they will now have to know and accept the son

    I would say that Jesus is talking to those who honor the Father. Those who do not honor the Father will not honor the Son, and those who THINK they honor the Father, are dishonoring Him if they dishonor Jesus. Those ones prove that they never knew the Father.

    if they do not accept the Son then they never really knew/had the Father in the first place as the Father would give them to Jesus.

    I fully agree with this, however, the emphasis is not on the LAW, but on honor.

    This is an extremely important point, that the jews hear AND accept.

    Do they really? Do the Jews who are not honoring Jesus believe and accept that they are not honoring the Father? I don’t think so.

    Again you wrote:

    Jesus tells of the time of the gentile calling when He says that “When the son of man is lifted up HE will draw all sorts of men (gentiles) TO HIMSELF (Jesus)

    Jesus did not say “all sorts of men”. He clearly said ALL men.

    You wrote:

    Jesus himself says v 39 “Ye search the scriptures (what we know as the O/T) for in them ye think (jews not gentiles) ye have eternal life and they are they which testify about ME.

    Jesus was indeed talking to the religious Jews who stood before Him.

    So yes ALL would one day come out of the memorial tombs… but at THAT TIME the jews did not understand.

    Yes they did understand that there would be a resurrection of the good and a resurrection of the bad. Their own Talmudic writings shows that there would be a general resurrection.

    I, me, other christians NOW understand but THEN the jews did not which is the point I was trying to make and obviously failing to do so.

    The Jews may not have understood about spiritually dead men coming to life by hearing the words of Jesus, but they would have definitely understood about a general resurrection. If I am missing what you are saying, then perhaps the problem is with me and not you.

    As regards the “there are not 2 ways to salvation only one way to life” that you said…once again I agree.. it is in Christ… but again you must agree that before Christ came, how could I believe in Him if He was not yet born and I was a little gentile living 500bc

    One can still respond to God in faith by whatever light He gives them. He has promised that those who fear Him, He will reveal His covenant to them. I happen to believe that as I believe He is faithful to those who will submit to Him.

    There is a “before” Christ and there is an “after” Christ surley…

    Yes, the true light came directly into the world, the light that God has witnessed to since the beginning, but as far as the time change from the old to the new covenant, it was the time of John the Baptist. Jeus said so.

    Christ has already given the criteria for “after” His coming on the scene, hearing Him and believing…

    Jesus said that John bore witness of Him. People will be judged on the gospel that was preached to them by John. That is the turning point.

    Hopefully what I said makes sense. I have had to reformat my computer a couple of times in the last week and I put in long hours of work. I can’t promise that I am coherent now, but I am trying. 🙂

  27. Hi Cheryl…. thank you for your reply
    I do see your point about John the baptist and his being pivitol in pointing to Jesus… and take on board scriptures you have cited with which Itotally agree,I feel though im getting bogged down (my problem) with the word “pivitol” and my/the placing of that term
    John said to the priests and levites that he was not a prophet or Elijah when questioned, then they said unto him…who art thou that we may give an answer to them that sent us…John replied..I am the voice OF ONE CRYING in the wilderness make straight the way of the Lord .Again I must say that John, as I see it, announced Jesus to the world and pointed to Him as the Saviour… in THAT he was pivitol, no doubt about it. Jesus though was the pivitol point in history (maybe this is where the confusion is of my placing of that word, or my misunderstanding of your first comments ), the fork in the road so to speak, for the jewish nation. Change was now here (as announced by John) .. the Messiah was now on view to the world, things were about to become very differant… the vineyard was about to be vacated…. the sheep were about to be brought out of the pen…. there was not going to be new wine poured into old wineskins…change was here, change was upon them…and later for the whole world. Jesus BEING that pivitol moment of change (maybe “change” is another word, clouding the issue).
    Also another point… I used the term “under law” to show He (Jesus) was talking to jews (being specific for the readers of the comment). And as regards to those coming to Him as being drawn/dragged by the Father… these jews would have been the very ones honouring and following the God of Israel, the Father… because they WERE coming to Jesus, this in my mind was never in doubt…I took that as read.
    I am grateful for your response Cheryl but do not want to get caught up in words that you and I have differences on, im sure somewhere along the line we are both seeing the same thing.. .maybe its my English way of explanation thats slightly different to yours, forgive me.
    As regards the answering of the point re; the English girl 500bc I wasn’t wanting your answer to that, but rather using it as a “for instance” to a point I was making about a before and after time period. Sorry not to have responded to all your points. Nonetheless Cheryl… thank you for your response…In Christ
    .P.S.I hope what I said also makes sense!

  28. Elaine,
    Thanks for your response. It seems to me that you see John’s negative statements about what he is not as some kind of evidence that John is not the turning point in history as Jesus said. For me, I take the word of Jesus as the finished answer.

    In my ministry, I have been dealing with a lady who is corresponding with me about the time change for the church and she has made Paul as the pivotal point. She says that Jesus had another gospel than Paul did and the church did not start until Paul’s salvation. I may be wrong, but some of the comments you made about the Jewish nation sure sound a lot like what I hear coming from this lady who is in the Hyper-Grace movement that sees two different gospels: one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles. Perhaps I am just more sensitive to these terms and am putting you in the same camp when that may not be the case.

    The Jews were both “under the law” and “by faith” just as Abraham. Those who truly believed would most certainly also believe the Son. Those who refused to believe what the Father said, would most certainly not believe the testimony of the Son.

    I invite you to have a look at the other articles I have written on John 6. I would love to hear your feedback.

    In Christ,
    Cheryl

  29. Hi Cheryl….wow….that is not my intention at all…two gospels, how did you arrive at that…. my word…its just shows you how different people can read into what you say/write without it being what you are actually thinking… I would sugest that maybe you are being a little “sensitive” to these terms.
    There are NOT two gospels but there is a time that the “jews” would have to see the end of the first (law) covenent… as given by God to Moses… the way that they observed it and the “promise” given to Abraham coming to the fore… Eph chap 2 particularly v 14.
    I love the fact that even before circumsision was given to Abraham as a sign… God made a promise, a covenant, that “through your seed (Abrahams) ALL the nations of the earth would bless themselves” (including Israelites that weren’t on the scene yet)) “thou shalt be a father to many nations” and “a father of many nations I have made thee” Gal chap 3 v 8 (even Abraham was aware of Gods promises to him through his faith, God being able to do the things promised, faith was key) and that the law did not “disannul” the promise…this was always on the cards as far as God was concerned. The promise was the way God would make the way out of the hopeless situation of sin that through the law condemned the people (something better was needed, the promised seed… Christ the Messiah) and also for the heathen to come nigh unto God, this was “trumpeted” loudly and clearly to the jews through Gods words to Abraham (the gentiles as a group never had a covenanted relationship with the true God) and throughout the prophets that were pointing to the Messiah which the jews were awaiting (the gentiles weren’t) …unfortunatley for many they did not believe… why? because they never as a covenented people, AS A NATION , not individuals, truly loved the Father, this is shown to be the case throughout scripture.
    I love the story of Joseph, pictureing Jesus… Joseph being betrayed by his brothers… rejected, then the covering of blood on Josephs garment BY the brothers (without shedding of blood there is no remission) , God giving Joseph the interpretations of Pharaohs dreams, then Joseph elevated by Gods will…becoming second to Pharaoh, him setting up the barns to store grain, feeding the world on bread then at last… his brothers coming to him…. the testing…. then the revealing of himself to them and his loving them…and all this AFTER he had saved the “world” and remember what he said to his brothers ” “now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither, for God did send me before you to preserve life” Gen 45 v 5, see also chap 50 v 20.I believe God has yet to make known to the future (prophetic) Israelites 144,000 (God knows who these blood tribes are) “the one whom they pierced”… rejected, Jesus the Messiah..their Messiah and this when the last of the gentiles has come in.
    I love the patriachs, they are a part of my spiritual heratage to whom the promises were made… the fleshy line through which both the Israelite and gentile Redeemer has come
    No Cheryl I do not believe in two seperate gospels but I do belive that the jews had to take on board Christ Jesus as being their saviour after having the law whereas the gentiles had a different criteria to overcome (thats the difference in the two, nothing more, not two gospels!!)…they were all going to become ONE body in Christ, NO seperation now between the two but getting them there for the likes of Paul and Peter was hard graft, so many teaching untruths… gentiles being told one thing or another by those jews that were still pushing circumsision and observation of days.. ect.. gentiles missing the whole point of Grace thinking they could do what they liked and using the cross as an excuse for wrongdoing…how hard these faithful, beautiful, ISRAELITE brothers worked for the Lord, these ones along with the other 10 apostles being the very foundation of the new Jerusalem, those that I am related to in the Spirit which is more important than blood…Yes Cheryl God knows His own and hard or not His children would know the truth and it would truly set them free. One Lord one Gospel and it fits ALL.
    I hope I have cleared things up..no doubt I will have raised more points to discuss!
    In Christ.
    Elaine
    P.S. I will read your articles on John 6 when I get time..soon I hope. x

  30. Hi Elaine,

    About the two gospels…I was just saying that the words you use about Israel and the law and that the Jewish nation will be judged on their works under the law is exactly the same wording that this lady uses. She says that Israel will be judged under the law as their gospel is the kingdom, and for the Gentiles, a different gospel was brought by Paul not under the law, but under grace. The minute I read that Israel will be judged by works when the gospel says all will be judged on faith, I see the same reasoning process as she uses. If you actually meant that Israel will be judged on faith apart from works for salvation, with their works only being used for rewards or punishment, then you and I are in agreement.

    You wrote:

    There are NOT two gospels but there is a time that the “jews” would have to see the end of the first (law) covenent… as given by God to Moses… the way that they observed it and the “promise” given to Abraham coming to the fore… Eph chap 2 particularly v 14.

    You would have to agree with me, though, that although Israel was under the first covenant, the acceptance by God was always only through faith, right? There was no other way that the Jewish nation would be right with God as the sacrifices always pointed to Christ. They were not saved by works but saved by faith to good works.

    You wrote:

    (the gentiles as a group never had a covenanted relationship with the true God) and throughout the prophets that were pointing to the Messiah which the jews were awaiting (the gentiles weren’t)

    Only Israel was placed under the first covenant, but any Gentile could also come under the first covenant by joining with Israel and serving God in faith.

    …unfortunatley for many they did not believe… why? because they never as a covenented people, AS A NATION , not individuals, truly loved the Father, this is shown to be the case throughout scripture.

    The Jewish nation was elected by God unconditionally, but in loving God and fearing Him, this was always an individual thing, not by nation. Malachi 3:16 explains.

    Malachi 3:16 (NASB) Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.

    Individual names are written in God’s book, not nations.

    You wrote:

    I believe God has yet to make known to the future (prophetic) Israelites 144,000 (God knows who these blood tribes are) “the one whom they pierced”… rejected, Jesus the Messiah..their Messiah and this when the last of the gentiles has come in.

    Future “prophetic” Israelites???

    No Cheryl I do not believe in two seperate gospels but I do belive that the jews had to take on board Christ Jesus as being their saviour after having the law whereas the gentiles had a different criteria to overcome (thats the difference in the two, nothing more, not two gospels!!)

    The Father of Israel believed God BEFORE the law. How then is the law necessary BEFORE faith for Israel?

    Elaine, what would clear things up for me is knowing which teachers you are listening to. Do you mind listing a few of them so I can understand where you are coming from? There are terms you are using that are unknown to me and I would like to understand. And if you could also tell me if you are a Calvinist or not. Thanks!

  31. Hi Cheryl…Forgive me but I dont think you are reading what Im writing, I thought it was understandable but it cant be…therefore I will try to be more specific this time in replying.

    I said regarding Abraham that faith was KEY..

    I said the gentiles as a GROUP were not a covenanted people, I know individuals could come under the law covenant in faith and join the nation.

    You said that as a nation they were elected unconditionaly, but loving Him was always an individual thing… I said that…
    “unfortunatley many did not believe.. why? because as a covenanted people… as a nation….( NOT INDIVIDUALS…. individuals throughout history displayed great faith in the face of adversity, even from there own, Hebrews chap 11)…. they did not truly love the Father, the God of Israel. I totally agree with Malachi 3 v 16.

    I think that because Im not explaining myself the way you would, you are not getting what I am saying…it is my mistake. I said that…

    “I believe God has yet to make known to the future (prophetic) 144,000, God knows who these blood tribes are”

    Let me re-word that…

    I believe that “God has yet to make known to a future 144,000 blood Israelites… God knows who they are and as prophesied about in the book of Revelation…. the one whom they ( the jews) pierced.( which is why I wrote to you about Joseph, quoteing scriptures in Genesis)
    Zech chap 12 v 10… Rev chap 1 v 3, 7…Matt chap 24 v 30, Mark 13 v 26, Luke Luke 21 v 27. ( all well known verses) Rev chap 7 v 3-8 (Rev 9 v 4) I hope you can understand why I have cicted these scriptures.

    Revelation was written, around 95 A.D…. long after the death of Jesus and His faithful apostles…It is a revealing of future events that were not told to others.

    In John chap 21 v 21,22. Peter asks Jesus a question about what will happen to John, Jesus replies “if I will that he tarrys till i come, what is that to thee? follow me”… Could this be a cryptic way of saying that John would see the time of the end, not because he would not die, but because he would be given the Revelation by Jesus of the end times, a bit like when Jesus said “there are some standing here which will not taste death til they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom….then the transfiguration.

    meanwhile….

    There was the First covenant that showed them (The Israelite nation) that they needed something better…as Paul said when the law came to life I died.

    The second covenant is by Grace, Jesus is the something better…because when He died I came to life.
    I live by faith and if I believe with all my heart, my works will show my faith to be alive. It is by Grace we are saved.

    If Grace had not come I would still be dead…Christ is that Grace.

    I am not a calvinist. I must say I dont really understand calvinists they sound quite confusing and conflict, in varying degrees, with each other.

    I dont listen/read (to) any teachers that you would know, but do read people like yourself.I do go to a church building and go to bible study groups,though at times I dont agree with my pastor…titheing for one. I dont really like the institution of church nor the structured approach, but love my brothers and sisters. I say what I feel I need to say then am silent, its enough that its out there. I have learned to be still and at peace

    I am in search of truth, to alter and change, to add and discard as new revelation comes along, I want my heart to be open to Gods voice… I will continue to ask questions give out thoughts and ask that the Holy Spirit guide me into that truth…I am on a path, Jesus said “”for everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth,and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. I do not know all the answers to all the questions, I dont even know all the questions!… but Im enjoying the journey. A part of my journey is talking with you. In Christ…Elaine

  32. Elaine,

    You asked:

    In John chap 21 v 21,22. Peter asks Jesus a question about what will happen to John, Jesus replies “if I will that he tarrys till i come, what is that to thee? follow me”… Could this be a cryptic way of saying that John would see the time of the end, not because he would not die, but because he would be given the Revelation by Jesus

    I personally do not think so. I think He means it is none of our business what I am doing with others. I want YOU to follow Me. I had this conversation with the Lord Jesus at one time when I thought He was being unfair by always requiring me to say sorry to my husband when it appeared that my husband was not being dealt with and was getting away at what I could not get away with. The Lord said very clear to me that it is none of my business what He is doing with my husband. It is only my business what He is doing with me. I see the same answer to Peter above. If Jesus had meant otherwise I think He would have said it in a plain way. With the disciples who saw His glory, He said there are some there who WILL … see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom. With Peter He said “IF”. It is not a certain thing, nor a promise, but an “If I do this it is none of your business.”

    You said:

    The second covenant is by Grace, Jesus is the something better…because when He died I came to life.

    I think you meant when He was “resurrected”, I came to life in Him. Correct?

    You said:

    I live by faith and if I believe with all my heart, my works will show my faith to be alive. It is by Grace we are saved.

    Yes, a living faith always has works to reveal it is a living faith.

    You wrote:

    If Grace had not come I would still be dead…Christ is that Grace.

    I understand that you are saying, that even though Abraham had faith, if Jesus had not come to the earth to die for us, Abraham (and all of us) would still be dead in our sins. And yes, I believe that.

    You wrote:

    I am in search of truth, to alter and change, to add and discard as new revelation comes along, I want my heart to be open to Gods voice…

    I am understanding you to mean “new revelation” as new to you, but not new to the Scriptures. God’s voice supports and confirms what He has said in the Word.

    If you are not in agreement with what I have written above, just let me know where you don’t agree. I am not sure why, but the way you write things isn’t always clear to me.

    You wrote:

    I will continue to ask questions give out thoughts and ask that the Holy Spirit guide me into that truth

    I believe that the Holy Spirit will guide you and all of us to Jesus who is the Truth. Spiritual understanding will always be focused on the Lord Jesus. Some people seek spiritual truth without wanting Jes to be the key part of that answer. I am not implying that this is you. Just agreeing with you that Jesus is the truth and the One whom the Holy Spirit reveals. Spiritual truth will always bring us closer to Jesus and will always agree with the written Word itself.

    Do you mind if I ask what kind of Church you go to?

    Sorry again for being so slow. It is a time of intense work for me and I don’t take breaks away as often as I should to answer comments, email etc.

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