Tag: New Testament (page 1 of 3)

Did God Hate Esau?

Ruth D – Please explain Romans 9:13 – “I loved Jacob but hated Esau.” Does that mean certain people will never be saved, because God has not chosen them, or does it go back to faith and works?

Dave – Thank you for your question. It is not an easy one. Romans 9-11 are difficult chapters to grasp. After rereading all of Chapter 9, I can share some ideas with you. Overall, we must remember that God knows the future. He knows who will have the right attitudes and saving faith before they are even born. For example, He knew what Esau and Jacob would be like before their birth, and the reason He hated Esau was because he was not man of faith and spirit but rather a “man of the world,” i.e., tough, strong, good hunter and, most importantly, he did not value spiritual things.

Paul is also revealing something God said repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, that only some Jews will be saved (“the remnant”), most would not. Paul is making clear that physical lineage does not determine who obtains eternal life. It seems as though there are only two “philosophical” options regarding human life – either we trust that we are good enough for Heaven or we are not and need saving by God’s mercy. Humans can will to do this or that, but the bottom line is this – have they found God’s mercy? I know that verses 15-16 in Romans 9 make it sound like God selects people on earth to be saved and also chooses some to go to destruction. Some Christians believe this concept of predestination where God just does what He does and individuals have no choice. But I contend that even when people are chosen or called they can renege on the invitation like Judas Iscariot did. Saul/Paul was chosen as demonstrated by a strong vision that most people never get, but he still could have walked away from the Lord. I further believe that God’s mercy is willing and waiting for sinners to repent and find Jesus. I do not believe that if such a person does this that God will say “No, you have not been chosen by Me.”

I further think that the idea of predestination in Romans 8:29 means that as God saw the future and He decided to make those willing souls to become like Jesus eventually. In other words, before He made everything, He made the decision to do what was necessary to make evil disappear forever, knowing full well what He had to do to accomplish this. Those souls who would respond to His Truth (mercy), would therefore be predestined to eternal life.

Again, this is difficult to deal with and I am not saying all I’ve said is totally the Truth. It’s just the way I have dealt with your question for the 44 years I’ve known Him.

QA #38 Feedback on concept of predestination:

Nels F (10/7/13) – So interesting–thanks!

Binding Of Satan in Revelation

Mike K – I am enjoying your teachings, which my wife and I receive through her emails. I was wondering what you thought about the possibility for Matthew 12:29 referencing Christ’s locking the gates of Hell (to form a preterist point of view about this prophecy and the corresponding passage in Revelation) but also a prophetic locking of the accuser in future years? If the accuser has been bound for 1000 years I am curious as to how that affects the timeline found in Revelation. I am very interested in knowing what you think on the matter.

Hi Mike – Nice to hear from you and I am glad you and your wife are enjoying my commentaries.

You’ve asked some tough questions. First, Matthew 12:29 most assuredly reveals that Jesus did bind Satan in order to cast out demons from people during His ministry on earth. I think the context is clear on this. Our problem is that we do not know exactly what this means. The imagery in the corresponding verses in Revelation are totally symbolic, i.e., there is no way that a literal metal chain bound up a supernatural, spiritual being like Satan. It does convey the idea that his power suddenly became limited, however. Revelation tells us in what way – so he cannot deceive the nations. This, to me, speaks of the new freedom to spread the Gospel worldwide. If Satan continued to have all his deceptive powers, the Gospel, I think, would not have spread so fast to so many. But the Word is clear that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Still, I think there needed to be some limit put on Satan, after all, humans gave over lots of dominion to him at The Fall.

The problem with what I’ve just said stems from a dispensational paradigm which needs shifting. They assert that the millennium is a literal 1,000 years and will occur in the future. I believe they’ve missed something big. I contend that the millennium is a vast time period (the Church Age) when Christ is ruling from heaven’s throne which started at His Ascension. We are seated with Him (Ephesians 2:6) and He rules earth through the true Church changing haters into lovers via the Gospel. Satan does not want believers to realize that this is happening. If all Christians saw this, their faith would boost and they would attempt more for Christ. The futuristic view robs believers of serving the Lord in a greater capacity, I think. Many dispensationalists are serving Christ a great ways and accomplishing nice things, but I think they could do even better believing that Satan is bound now. And another surprise to many is that the End Days began with the coming of Jesus (Heb 1:2 and Acts 2:17).

While Preterism makes some good cases, I cannot totally embrace that interpretive approach. It’s a bit too radical and I do not appreciate some of the attitudes expressed against modern Jews because of their stand. Nero certainly was an anti-Christ, but was he The Anti-Christ? I doubt it. I do like preteristic thought, however, because it respects history more than dispensationalism.

As far as the timeline in Revelation is concerned, it is sometimes difficult to establish it because I think some chapters are a different look at the same historical prophecy. For example, Rev 20:7-10 and Rev 19:11-21 seem to be the same thing with a different perspective. And sometimes chapters may not present themselves in perfect chronological order. If true, we have more “wrenches thrown into the gears.”

A real good and fair book on End-Time Prophecy viewpoints is “Rose Guide to End-Times Prophecy” by Rose Publishing. It gives fair representation to all the different ways to approach this complicated topic. I got mine on Amazon.com at a good price. Another good one is “A Case for Amillennialism” by Kim Riddlebarger. Still another one is “Great Prophecies of the Bible” by Ralph Woodrow. I have emailed Mr. Woodrow and he is a fine gentleman in Christ, although I do not agree with all he says in his other books. You can get these books “used” via amazon.com for a cheap price. Definitely some neat perspectives that most Christians are not exposed to due to the dominance of dispensationalism in our present culture.

I’m not sure if any of my words have answered your questions directly, but at least I’ve given you more food for thought and some good resources. I can tell you’ve given this much thought over the years.

Mike K – Thank you for the quick reply! You did answer my question, yes. These are questions I have been asking dispensationalists for years, usually to the outcome of decrying me an unbeliever. I am usually called a heretic because I am not convinced of a premillennial Rapture. I am much more of an amillennialist.

Preterism has its pros, but also many cons. I tend toward viewing things in terms of both preterism and prophetic yet-to-be’s. I approach the strong man passage similarly. Likewise I view the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD as a partial return of Christ. Yet His return is not complete.

Thanks for sharing! I feel truly blessed to discuss such weighty matters with trust and calm – contrary to how most people discuss them.

Dave – Great, glad I helped. It is interesting that they label and judge you with such unfair fierceness because their founder, John Darby, did the same thing when guys like Spurgeon opposed his views. I’ve seen a similar thing rise up out of a good friend of mine, but I have gone out of my way to keep our brotherly love in tact, thank God. Unfortunately, men such a Cyrus Scofield, who was not known for high moral character, embraced Darby’s views so much that he translated the Bible with that bias and actually changed verses to fit his beliefs. Not good. The most prominent one was Revelation 7:14 when he added the word “the” in front of “great tribulation.” In truth, the Bible speaks only of tribulations and great tribulation that some believers experience. “The great tribulation” is a manufactured idea from Darby and Scofield.


Cindi L – I had to look up all these words preterist, amillennialism, dispensationalism just to get a handle on what you guys were saying! I know I’ve been exposed to a lot of this information but I didn’t know the names…whew. Dave – you are an ever increasing resource for me. I appreciate the vastness of your knowledge and energy of research. You have a great spirit because you allow God to be God in your life and others. Thanks for your humble and loving approach, you know how to keep before the Lord and I love how God really cares more about how we love (and TRULY LIKE) one another with differing views – especially on deep and somewhat veiled, mysterious topics. It is wonderful to think on these things and I love the amount of resources you always share for anyone to search out. Love you.

Alona R – I thank you for sending in Mike’s question answered and discussed with those references.

Galatians 1 Verse 8

Ruth D – What does Paul mean in Galatians 1:8 KJV – “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” What angel would he be referring to?

Dave – Paul may be using an extreme example to rivet home the idea how solidly true the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. In other words, he is saying that even if a good angel should proclaim a contrary message, then that angel is in big trouble. This is not to say that an angel of God would ever do this. Paul is simply taking his example to that extreme degree to make his point. Therefore, to answer your question, I do not think Paul had any specific angel from heaven in mind (again because no good angel would do this). He also could be saying that if some supernatural being appears to be holy, it may try to fool us. Therefore we need to use the Word of God laid down by Paul and others as the measuring stick to determine truth from lies. We need to be mindful of 2 Corinthians 11:14 where it says that even Satan can appear as an angel of light. Visions must be accountable to the Word of God. Over the years, people with inflated egos and demonic spirits of error have taught many off-the-wall doctrines that simply do not line up with Scripture. Some of these people have even claimed to have had visions of supernatural beings that were the source of their “revelations,” i.e., Joseph Smith who started Mormonism. Scripture tells us to not believe every spirit but to test it to see whether or not it is from God (1 John 4:1).


Mark D – Great answer, David!

« Older posts

© 2024 Scripture Thoughts

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑