Did Anyone Counsel Him?

Scott Price

“Who hath known the mind of the LORD, or who has been His counselor?” Rom 11:34

The message that false religion has consistently promoted seeks to destroy the grace and glory of God by discrediting the preeminence of Christ in salvation. The way a false gospel is shaped is to chip away at the grace, which was before the foundation of the world by conditioning salvation in some part on the action of man. The false gospel of works starts with a god who conditions election on the “freewill” decision, which was seen in looking down through the future as he looked through the telescope of time. This view of election makes man to be the counselor of God. It makes God to seek the counsel from man and makes God to act by reacting to man.

If we believe the word of God when it talks of faith as being a gift then how does this relate to the above-mentioned view of election? Does God look down through the future to see who He already gave faith to and then chose those He sees exercise that faith? Come on! Who was the false prophet that devised this one? What a brainstorm! This idea is about false god with no wisdom that reacts to the counsel of man. Who would be the supreme being in that mess? Man would be.

The true God of the Bible is wise and all knowing. He, of course, knows what will happen before it does happen. Do you know why this is? Because He foreordained and predestinated ALL things, not because He has to wait to learn what will happen. God’s election is based and conditioned on the LORD Jesus Christ. His people are loved, accepted, and elected in Christ. God is not a reactionary wimp like man. False religion has shaped a god that is like themselves. Do not let the lies of false religion influence you and the one’s you love. Expose it loudly and clearly every time you see it.

God Alone Makes the Sheep and the Goats

“And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say to them on His right hand, Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world… Then He shall also say to unto them on His left hand, Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:32-34, 41

“But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you.” John 10:26

“…and as many as were ordained unto eternal life believed.” Acts 13:48

One thing that is common among the people who are identified as the Sheep of God is their humility and submission toward Him in seeing that salvation is totally by free grace without any credit given to the sinner at all. The sinner has no ground for boasting in his righteousness because the Bible calls it “filthy rags” and “dung” (Isaiah 64:6 & Phil 3:8). He has no basis for bragging in his faith because it is a gift from God (Psalm 65:4, Matthew 11:27, II Corth 4:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Phil 1:29, Hebrews 12:2, I Peter 1:21, II Peter 1:1, I John 5:20,). He has no basis for bragging in his repentance because it also is given by God (Acts 3:26, 5:31, 11:18, II Tim 2:25). He also has no space to brag about God giving him mercy (Romans 9:15-18).

The LORD’s sheep hear His voice, obey His gospel, submit to Him, and trust in Him as their only righteousness. They are humbled by His mercy shown to them through the obedient life and death of Christ. They do not brag about their love for God but rather God’s gracious, unconditional love toward them in Christ. They are thankful for God’s choice of them in Christ before time and know they would have never chosen Him if it were not for the work of free grace. They thank Him for the faith and repentance that He gave them.

The Goats are a different story. They remain proud, haughty, self righteous, and boastful. They do not give the glory, honor, and reverence that His Holy Name requires and deserves. They live in a constant state of disbelief and rejection of the Person and work of Christ. They boast in their idol of “freewill”. They brag on their works, their love, their dedication, and their righteousness. They will not come to the true Christ that they might have life but rather they pray to a god that cannot save.

The important question is; who makes the Sheep to differ from the Goats? The important answer is that God makes the difference by the Father’s election of them before the world began, Christ dying for them to bring in an everlasting righteousness to be the ground of their justification, and the Spirit working in them regenerating and drawing them to the Father, through faith in Christ, the only Mediator available between God and man. This is God’s free grace, totally without the works of the sinner whatsoever. The Sheep cannot make the difference, only God can. The LORD will not share His glory. Salvation is of the LORD from start to finish.

Is God sovereign in electing of the Goats to condemnation? Yes He is. He is the Potter that made the Goats vessels of wrath, for His own glory, out of the same lump of clay, regardless of any foreseen works (read Romans 9:11-24). God’s people are not afraid or embarrassed of the absolute sovereignty of God. Do we have to condition the election of the Goats to condemnation on sin in order to “let God off the hook” to be sovereign? Both election unto life and unto condemnation was done BEFORE any of the Goats had done any good OR evil (Romans 9:11). This is the only true God and there is none else. Submit to Him or perish.

If You Hate Election You Love Works For Salvation

(for the children being not yet been born, neither having done any good or evil; that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him who called,)” Romans 9:11

Even so in this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it is of works, then it is no more of grace; otherwise work is no more work.” Romans 11:5

These two texts show us that the sovereign grace of God in election stands opposed to the humanistic idea of salvation by works. Without God electing His people in Jesus Christ there would be no salvation at all. The word of God has many, many references to God the Father choosing His people in Jesus Christ, before the world began. The religion of the world, which promotes self-righteous efforts at attaining or maintaining a salvation before God, is either ignorant of God’s electing grace, or they outright reject and hate it. Why is this? Because election exposes what false religion holds dearest: Self-righteous pride, will-worship, and an unending attempt at human merit in salvation.

Those who hate God’s election of grace not only have a problem with the gospel of salvation by grace alone, but they also have a problem with the only God of grace. Yes, they have a problem with God Himself. They put God under an obligation to save all without exception. This opposes the idea of mercy of God, which is in Christ Jesus. Mercy and grace are NOT obligated. God has the choice in the matter. These are not concepts that take a genius to grasp. Rather, it is something a humble and simple person can understand. It is in the Lord’s hands to cause a person to believe and love this truth. God’s people submit and love His truth. Children of the devil hate the gospel of grace, where the righteousness of God is revealed. Thank the Lord God for HIS electing love, grace and mercy!

One Response to “Did Anyone Counsel Him?”

  1. mark carpenter Says:

    Westminster Confession III.7. “The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.”

    In using the phrase “pass by,” the WCF men showed that they believed that God is permissive or passive in at least some of His decrees. Let us examine some of their proof-texts to see if they substantiate this claim that God simply “passes by” the rest of mankind.

    In Matthew 11:25-26, Jesus is giving thanks to the Father for hiding the things of the gospel from the wise and prudent and revealing them unto babes. God the Father is said to be doing two things here: hiding from some and revealing to others. It is clear that a supposed “permissive decree” of God is not “expressly set down” in Scripture. Using the WCF’s professed principle set forth in I.9, we go to John 12:40 for a fuller and clearer sense of what it means for God to hide these things from the wise and prudent: “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”

    God actively blinds eyes and hardens hearts. Why? So that they should not see nor understand and be converted. In Matthew 11:25-26, God is not passively hiding things but actively doing so by means of blinding and hardening.

    The WCF men put forth the following passage as proof of their claim that God is passive in some of His decrees: “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth. … Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” (Romans 9:17-18,21-22).

    Since when was the showing of God’s power and wrath a passive or permissive display? The cited text says regarding God that “whom he will he hardeneth.”

    The careful framers of this confession neglected to make mention of verses 19 and 20 – two key texts that determine what kind of “hardening” is being done by God. Romans 9:18-19 sets forth the truth of unconditional mercy and unconditional hardening. It is clear that Paul’s objector hates this doctrine of unconditional and active hardening by God, since he says that God would not be able to find fault with the reprobates because the reprobates would not be able to resist God’s active decree to harden them.

    Those who would consider the WCF to be a paragon of orthodoxy are able to sympathize with the Romans 9:19 objector who would raise a charge against the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul. The WCF adherents object for the very same reason that Paul’s objector objects – they both cling to the carnal and unbiblical premise that moral responsibility (or culpability) presupposes freedom from God’s sovereign active control. In reply to verse 20, the adherents of the WCF would answer that God did not make the reprobate thus, but that they made themselves thus. But God through the apostle Paul says that He DID make them thus, and who are you, O WCF adherent, to talk back?

    Ironically, the WCF men cited verses 21 and 22 of Romans 9 in defense of their semi-deist, semi-dualist position that God is permissive in some decrees. Note that verse 21 does NOT say that God makes one vessel unto honor while “passing by” the vessels of dishonor, but that He MAKES both kinds of vessels. In verse 22 the dishonorable vessels are called vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. In keeping with Paul’s analogy, vessels do not make themselves; they do not fit themselves. It is the sovereign Potter who fits and makes them.

    The Scriptures that the WCF men put forth do not demonstrate that God is passive in His decree of sovereign ordination of the reprobate to wrath. Jude 4 and 1 Peter 2:8 make it clear that the reprobate are ordained and appointed to their respective condemnations. Those who stumbled at the stone of stumbling, those who were offended by the rock of offence, were not “permitted” or “allowed” to appoint themselves. They were appointed by God to stumble at the Word. If God is said to actively cause the reprobate of mankind to stumble at the Stone of stumbling, then will not the carnal response be: “Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?”?

    The Scripture says that God raised Pharaoh up in order to display His power in him. How is God’s power demonstrated in Pharaoh if God “passes by” him by giving him more freedom and “allowing” him to harden himself? In the Passover found in the book of Exodus, and in the final destruction of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, we see that God raised up Pharaoh (and by extension all the reprobate) in order to show His wrath and to make His power known in His active and unconditional hardening of Pharaoh. The hardening done by God in Pharaoh’s heart is shown to be active and efficient because it is a display of His power, and the hardening is shown to be unconditional because God will harden whom He will.

    Certainly there are aspects of God’s counsel and will that are “unsearchable” (Romans 11:33; Deuteronomy 29: 29) to finite creatures. But God has clearly revealed in His Word exactly WHY He has chosen to have mercy on some and chosen to harden others: God wants to demonstrate His power and wrath in the reprobate so that those to whom He would show mercy might know that the riches of His glorious mercy found in Jesus Christ alone are what makes them to differ from the Pharaohs of the world (Romans 9:22-24).

    The WCF cites 2 Timothy 2:19-20 as a proof-text: “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.” As has been already shown, the reprobates are those whom God has unconditionally determined to damn before the creation of the world. These vessels of dishonor do not ultimately choose for themselves what kind of vessel they will be; rather, by their reaction to the work of Jesus Christ as making the difference between salvation and damnation by demanding and ensuring the salvation of all whom He represented, it is revealed what kind of vessel God has chosen them to be.

    An unwavering and steadfast adherence to the biblical doctrine of unconditional reprobation – which necessarily includes active hardening – is not some sort of twisted fascination. On the contrary, this doctrine preserves and protects the purity of the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone.

    The framers of the WCF, under a pseudo-pious pretense of protecting God’s holiness, have undermined and blasphemed His absolute sovereignty. For they have imposed their own man-made standard of righteousness upon Almighty God, to which He must conform in order for Him to remain righteous in their self-exalting eyes. They invent absurd and blasphemous fictions in order to retain a false sense of control (cf. Psalm 2:3; Psalm 12:4).

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