Two House Chronicles

The Insufficiencies of the Presuppositions of Covenantalism in Rendering John's Apocalypse

The Insufficiency of the Presuppositions of Covenantalism

in Rendering John's Apocalypse

by Hope, Marsue and Jerry Huerta

copyright 2016

edited 2018

 

 

Paul’s testimony concerning God's foreknowledge and other NT evidence pertaining to God's attributes provide the premise by which covenantalists deduce their doctrines and concepts on predestination.1 Reformed theology maintains that a fixed number of predestined heirs are chosen “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).2 Predestination is an expression of God's foreknowledge regarding all his chosen or elected-as grasped in covenantalism's reading of Paul, specifically Romans 8:29·30, which they call the Golden Chain: foreknowledge, predestination, effectual calling, justification, and glorification.

 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

 

Covenantalists hold a predestined salvation position concerning individuals but until recent times have had little regard for predestined corporate salvation in order to maintain their traditional perception that God repented on Israel’s future destiny. Covenantalism still maintains that God repented on the destiny of the elect biological descendants of Abraham as intended to be the means by which the conversion of the gentiles was to ensue. In truth, this is an acknowledgement that corporate Israel had been destined to convert the gentiles, contrary to what covenantalist Russel Moore asserts.3 The eighteenth and nineteenth century commentators of John Gill and Adams Clarke express covenantalism’s traditional perception of Israel’s future in their comments concerning the Parable of the Tenants in Matthew 21:33·44.

 

and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.… Though God may take away the Gospel from a people, as he did from the Jews; yet he does not, nor will he, as yet, take it out of the world: he gives it to another ‘nation’; to the Gentiles, to all the nations of the world, whither he sent his apostles to preach and where it must be preached before the end of the world comes, in order to gather his elect out of them: for not one particular nation is meant, unless the nation of God's elect, among all nations, can be thought to be designed.”4

 

Therefore, say I - Thus showing them, that to them alone the parable belonged. The kingdom of God shall be taken from you - the Gospel shall be taken from you, and given to the Gentiles, who will receive it, and bring forth fruit to the glory of God. Bringing forth the fruits - As in Matthew 21:34; an allusion is made to paying the landlord in kind, so here the Gentiles are represented as paying God thus. The returns which He expects for his grace are the fruits of grace; nothing can ever be acceptable in the sight of God that does not spring from himself.”5

 

Their commentary supports the idea that God had elected the nation of Israel to inherit the promises to Abraham—founded on his, “oath which he had sworn,” to the patriarch—as opposed to merit of any construct (Deuteronomy 7:6-8; Isaiah 41:8-9; 43:10, 20; 44:1-2). As such, the OT substantiates that the nation’s salvific destiny is of the same efficacy as individual election—the destiny of the nation corresponds to the election of its chosen citizens. Covenantalism has failed to perceive that the corporate election of the body of Israel was correlative with the election of its individual citizens, which fostered the fallacy that the former election upon the biological descendants was grounded on merit and was forfeited at the first advent.

Foundational to the issue of corporate predestination is the nature of the body elected in texts such as Deuteronomy 7:6-8.

 

For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)

 

Adjective clauses in the context such as “thou art an holy people” and “them that love him and keep his commandments” introduce a distinction that omits the reprobate in the election of the corporate body of Israel. (The ordination by grace substantiates that keeping the commandments is also by grace as expressed in Ephesians 2:10.) Paul maintains this same distinction concerning corporate Israel in Romans 9-11 when addressing the remnant, Israel, that had not been cast off, in contrast to those who were cast off and hardened. The nineteenth century covenantalist David Brown affirmed this distinction when he commented on Romans 9:6, concerning the Israel of God's irrevocable choice.

 

for they are not all Israel which are of Israel—better, ‘for not all they which are of Israel are Israel.’ Here the apostle enters upon the profound subject of ELECTION, the treatment of which extends to the end of the eleventh chapter—‘Think not that I mourn over the total loss of Israel; for that would involve the failure of God's word to Abraham; but not all that belong to the natural seed, and go under the name of “Israel,” are the Israel of God's irrevocable choice’ … the argument of this verse is, that ‘all Israel is not rejected, but only a portion of it, the remainder being the “Israel” whom God has chosen in the exercise of His sovereign right.’ And that this is a choice not to mere external privileges, but to eternal salvation, will abundantly appear from what follows.”6

 

Brown substantiates the correspondence between individual and corporate salvation, which substantiates the distinction expressed in Deuteronomy 7:6-8. Covenantalist Thomas R. Schreiner also addresses the distinction and notes that the elect are correspondingly regarded as the “church.”

 

“All God's choice of a corporate group means is that God chose that all who put their faith in Christ would be saved. Those who put their faith in Christ would be designated the Church. Those who defend corporate election are conscious of the fact that it is hard to separate corporate from individual election, for logic would seem to require that the individuals that make up a group cannot be separated from the group itself.”7

 

In Schreiner’s zeal to renounce Arminianism, which is the object of his essay, he substantiates the correspondence between corporate and individual election but fails to comprehend that his acknowledgement is at variance with covenantalism’s claims that God repented on the corporate election of the biological descendants of Israel and replaced them with the gentiles. Schreiner’s, or covenantalism’s continuity between Israel and the church is contradictory to their assertion that God repented on the corporate election of ethnic Israel; it would be more precise to say that God merely changed the management and gave it to the other house of Israel, Ephraim, which is the subject of the next chapter of this work.

Concerning the dispensationalist’s failure to affirm continuity between the Church and Israel, covenantalist Russell Moore posits that their lack of continuity stems from their misapprehension that the promises to Israel were to both the, “regenerate and unregenerate members,” but in reality the “future restoration of Israel has never been promised to the unfaithful, unregenerate members of the nation.”8 Moore inadvertently corrects the traditional covenantalist view and affirms the concept that the promises to the body of the church and Israel were to the elect individuals as distinct from the reprobates who mix with them, which corroborates the distinction in Deuteronomy 7:6-8 as well as corporate and individual correspondence in salvation. This distinction is not new and has long been perceived as the visible and invisible church,9 the latter being comprised of only the elect, but covenantalists resist the notion that this applies to corporate Israel also. As stated, Moore unintentionally avows this by acknowledging that the promises to Israel were strictly to the elect. Moore’s analysis, “The future restoration of Israel has never been promised to the unfaithful, unregenerate members of the nation,” is synonymous with David Brown’s commentary on Romans 9:6 and his perception of the Israel of God's irrevocable choice. Their analyses call for the recognition of the distinction in Deuteronomy 7:6-8 mentioned above, which conveys salvific corporate predestination.

Covenantalist C. Matthew McMahon has also deviated from replacement theology by acknowledging corporate predestination in his analyzation of the Hebrew term bachar, translated as chosen in Deuteronomy 7:6. After producing the few extraneous uses of the word he analyzes where:

 

it is used of God to choose the ultimate destinies and eternal salvation of particular people or of the nation Israel.… It is a specific choosing of a people who will be holy before Yahweh to do His will. This choosing or election is not based on their own merit but on God’s good pleasure and for His glory as seen in (Deuteronomy 7:7.)10

 

In McMahon’s book, The Two Wills of God, he perceives a hermeneutic that God expressed his will in more than one sense. Unless we accurately perceive these senses tension results in revelation and the truth does not prevail. As mentioned previously, McMahon develops another theologian’s work, Francis Turretin’s, as the hermeneutic of the compound and divided senses. McMahon clearly asserts that God chose the corporate body of Israel to do his will and decreed a salvific destiny in the compound sense, which also agrees with Brown’s commentary on Romans 9:6 and his perception of the Israel of God's irrevocable choice.

It is apparent that both McMahon and Moore agree with Brown’s perception that the election of the body of Israel pertained to the Israel of God's irrevocable choice, as distinguished from the reprobate mixed with them, which epitomizes both individual and corporate salvific correspondence. They perceive that God cannot change his mind regarding the salvific calling in Deuteronomy 7:6-8 because it did not apply to the reprobate, which conflicts with their notion that Israel forfeited its destiny to the gentiles at the first advent. Furthermore, it is inaccurate to view the diaspora of the elect biological descendants simply as punishment when Christ declared:

 

And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30)

 

Promised prosperity cannot be reconciled with the loss of inheritance and exile but rather substantiates that the gifts and calling of Israel as irrevocable, which is precisely what Peter, below,11 and Paul (Romans 11:29) affirmed.

 

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:1-2)

 

The objective evidence shows that Peter addressed members of the ten northern tribes yet scattered, but who, to some degree, were still aware of their heritage and his epistles truly overcome any objections to the contrary. Further evidence is provided by the first century Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, who wrote, “the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers,”12 this also confirms fulfilment of the birthright of Israel’s fecundity, particularly Joseph’s branch (Genesis 48:16; 49:22). But as previously mentioned, these circumstances were prophesied by Ezekiel and Zechariah concerning the house of Ephraim, also known as Joseph, Israel, and Samaria—as contrasted from Judah. As revealed, some covenantalists like McMahon and Moore have made advances in viewing, “the gifts and calling” of the descendants of Abraham “are without repentance” (Romans 11:29) but have failed to that this understanding undermines the reasoning in their argument that Israel forfeited its destiny at the first advent, specifically the destiny to covert the gentiles.

Calvinists McMahon and Moore believe they have something more exact than earlier covenantalists had to relate concerning sense in scripture, although Moore does not use the same terminology. Coming from a determined compatibilist13 sense they rightly perceive that God does not change is mind,14 which is why it is contradictory for them to also assert any form of change in destiny for the biological descendants of Abraham at the first advent. Further analysis of McMahon’s book, The Two Wills of God, reveals a fallacy, concerning 1 Peter 2:8. He proposes that that the reprobates were ordained to reject Christ and at the same time he asserts they had choice.

 

“But Peter does not simply leave us to our imagination to decide what it means for those who reject Christ to ‘stumble.’ He says that they were appointed to stumble. God appoints men to stumble at Christ. The word ‘appoints’ is τίθημι (tithemi) which means ‘to set, put, place,’ or ‘to establish, and ordain.’ God appoints men to eternal damnation according to His good pleasure, just as He elects men to salvation accordingly as well.”15

 

He continues to affirm predestination further into his book.

 

“Peter says, ‘They [those whom God passes by] stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for’ (1 Peter 2:8).”16

 

In finishing his analysis, he writes:

 

 “God had told Abraham that he would be a blessing to many nations, and that the whole world would be blessed by him. The Pharisees, Scribes and rulers of Jerusalem should have taken up that commission to bless the nations with the Word of God, but they did not … they turned in on themselves, reveling in ethnic privilege rather than in converting the nations … Jesus gives His reaction to this when he says that their house has become ‘desolate’ as a result of this hardness towards Him.”17

 

McMahon has failed to grasp that he has violated the rule of non-contradiction.18 He asserts the fallacy that those who were destined to be lost “should have taken up that commission to bless the nations.” The commission to bless the nations was to the elect not to the reprobate. McMahon shifts from a compatibilist to an Arminian or open theist sense here. In the corporate sense the nation was irrevocably chosen as a people with an ultimate destiny and salvation, which McMahon acknowledged concerning the use of bachar, above.19 The only relief from such a fallacy is to concede that the reprobates did exactly what they were ordained to do as it was not their destiny to convert the gentiles; rather, it was the destiny of the biological elect remnant of Israel to convert the gentiles, the Israel of God's irrevocable choice, which is precisely what happened. McMahon succumbs to Arminianism and even open theism in his assertion that the Jewish ruler’s choice determined their destiny when in truth, God preordained their destiny apart from the elect (1 Peter 2:7-8). Thus, McMahon is a typical covenantalist attempting to maintain the contradiction that God does not change his mind—and at the same time, says that those who were appointed to disavow Christ, “should have taken up that commission to bless the nations.” It was those who were appointed to avow Christ that were to convert the gentiles, not those who disavowed him. The only view that satisfies the compatibilist perception is the Two House theological model.20  The Two House model is the object of this discourse and it will be substantiated as the only model consistently holding to the compatibilist perception proving to be sufficient in properly rendering the NT and John’s apocalypse.

As stated, McMahon contradicts himself when proposing that the reprobate Jews at the first advent were ordained to reject Christ and then argues they should have avowed him. With inconsistency he acknowledges that the prophecy of Psalms 118:22-23 prophesied Christ, as the cornerstone, who was ordained to be rejected by the builders.21 This is also prophesied in Isaiah 8:14-5 where Christ is prophesied as “a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel.” The Arminian perception of prevenient grace is incompatible with the requisite that God appointed the time of Christ’s rejection by the reprobate who mixed with Israel; the Arminian conceptualization of freewill would have the disposition of men determine the appointed time—not God. When those who hold the Arminian perception concede that God influences man’s will, it conflicts with their conceptualization of freewill. Matthew 10 speaks directly to the reaction of the biological descendants of Israel to Christ in verse 23, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come,” which conveys how long Israel would continue to stumble on the cornerstone.

 

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.… verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.… Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.  (Matthew 10:5-7, 23, 32-33)

 

The pronouncement in Matthew 10:23 that preaching the Gospel would continue “till the Son of man be come” affirms that the first advent was not the appointed time of the Davidic kingdom foreseen in 1 Samuel 7:10-11 but was rather the appointed time of Jeremiah 31:2, when the elect descendants of both houses of Israel would find “grace in the wilderness,” as they were dispersed throughout the nations. It was by this circumstance that they were to play the major role in converting the gentiles. The phrase “till the Son of man be come” pertains to the second-advent, not to the first. Jeremiah 31:2 as well as Ezekiel 34:17-31, Hosea 2:14-23, Amos 9:9-10 and Zechariah 10:7-9 are but a few OT texts that prophecy Israel, specifically the biological descendants of the northern tribes, finds grace in the wilderness, in exile, but we see that they are not directly restored to the promised land when all the relevant texts are properly examined. In anthropomorphic illustrations, the remnant of Israel is redeemed and then sown throughout the world, like the good seed in Christ’s parables of the sower and of the tares; the correspondence between the aforementioned OT texts and Christ’s parables is an integral object of this work and substantiates the Two House model.

In returning to the reaction of the biological descendants to Christ, McMahon conveys they “should have taken up that commission to bless the nations … but they did not.”22 McMahon exhibits the continuing influence of past covenantalists who mistakenly viewed the end of the biological descendant’s administration of the kingdom of God in their interpretation of Matthew 21:43 and 23:38, as if the elect biological descendants merely ceased to exist and who are given no consideration as being the singular, fruit bearing nation of Matthew 21:43. As stated, this conflicts with Moore and McMahon’s sense that God’s elections are inviolable. It also conflicts with the NT testimony relating the accepted knowledge that there were great numbers of the descendants of the northern tribes dwelling as exiles in communities scattered throughout the known world at the time (John 7:35; 11:51-52; James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1). The nineteenth century covenantalist Adam Clarke’s writing is of some use here in that he conceded that the phrase, “the children of God that were scattered abroad” in John 11:52, pertained to the Jews and not the gentiles, differing from the view held by many of his fellow covenantalists.

 

“John 11:52 … Children of God that were scattered abroad - Probably John only meant the Jews who were dispersed among all nations since the conquest of Judea by the Romans; and these are called the dispersed, John 7:35, and James 1:1; and it is because he refers to these only, that he terms them here, the children of God, which was an ancient character of the Jewish people: see Deuteronomy 32:5; Isaiah 43:6; Isaiah 45:11; Jeremiah 32:1. Taking his words in this sense, then his meaning is this: that Christ was to die, not only for the then inhabitants of Judea, but for all the Jewish race wheresoever scattered; and that the consequence would be, that they should be all collected from their various dispersions, and made one body. This comports with the predictions of St. Paul: Romans 11:1-32.”23

 

It speaks well of Clarke that he did not make the same mistake that many of his contemporaries make who interpret the phrase as referring to the elect gentiles;24 nevertheless, the epistles of James and Peter carry significant bearing on the issue and correctly render the phrase pertaining to the twelve tribes, properly addressed as Israel, as opposed to Jews, as not all Israelites are Jews. Failure to recognize John 7:35, 11:52, James 1:1 and 1 Peter 1:1 as pertaining to the hitherto exiled northern tribes at the first advent is an anachronism that subordinates the accuracy of covenantalism in interpreting the scriptures, specifically the NT; they apply contemporary perceptions to terminologies that must be rendered first from the historical-grammatical point of view.25 Their contemporary view of the Jews as the nation of Israel cannot be reconciled to said texts, which affirms that the other house of Israel, Ephraim, must be considered in eschatological phenomena. Caiaphas spoke in terms of the tribes of Israel that had not dwelt as one sovereign nation in the promised land since the time of David and Solomon but who as such were still aware to some degree of their origins (John 11:51-52). Samaria has never been re-occupied by the ten tribes, which substantiates that Ephraim did not return with the Jews from the Babylonian captivity; the dominion of Samaria had been settled by foreigners who still dwelt in the land at the first advent. It strays from reason that Caiaphas’s, a Pharisee, intent in John 11:51-52 pertained to gentiles. McMahon’s comment, above, that the Jews, “should have taken up that commission to bless the nations … but they did not,” violates the rule of non-contradiction, when one takes into account that the other house of Israel had taken up the commission in fulfillment of Hosea 2:23 and Zechariah 10:7-9. Peter and James testify that Ephraim took the commission; it did not just cease to exist, and has relevance as the singular, fruit bearing nation of Matthew 21:43.

Matthew 10 and other NT evidence substantiate that the Messianic kingdom was not offered at the first advent as it was predetermined to be consummated only upon the return of the Son of man at the second advent. Matthew and Mark agree, Christ came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many—which affirms that Christ’s first advent presented us with a suffering redeemer and Ishi’s (husband) in Hosea 2—who returns as king, depicted in Revelation 19. The evidence that Christ came not to be ministered unto undoubtedly defeats the presumption of a conditional offer of the kingdom that the Jews expected. The prophets grasped the phenomenon as the sole will of God at his appointed time; God must first circumcise their hearts before the consummation of the kingdom (Deuteronomy 30:6). Evidence that the kingdom was not offered at that time is witnessed subsequently to the commission portrayed in Matthew 10, where Christ dismissed the impression that “the kingdom of God should immediately appear” (Luke 19:11-27). “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come” (Matthew 10:23) can only be interpreted as being protracted phenomenon as conveyed in Luke 19:11-27. From this evidence the phrase “the cities of Israel” verse 23, achieves a greater sense than merely the cities of Judah, but develops to include wherever the descendants of Israel abide in the illustrated sowing in Hosea 2:23 and Zechariah 10:9. The OT affirms that the children of God were to be scattered throughout the world in this age, which renders Christ’s testimony “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come” as a greatly protracted phenomenon over the expanse of the world. Christ’s parables affirm that this is the world in which the good seed, the remnant of Israel, is planted.

Moore also exhibits the continuing influence of past covenantalists who ignore the biological sense, lineage and heritage in the preordained administration of the kingdom of God in their misinterpretation of Matthew 21:43 and 23:38. In Moore’s essay, Is There a Future for Israel, he wrote:

 

“Covenant theologians argue that the future restoration of Israel will be fulfilled-but fulfilled in the church, a largely Gentile body that has ‘replaced’ the Jewish theocracy since the nation rejected her Messiah at Jesus’ first advent.… The future of Israel then does belong to Gentile believers but only because they are in union with a Jewish Messiah.… The church, as Israel was promised, does now ‘bear fruit’-the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5)-but it does so only because Jesus is the vine of Israel.”26

 

 In the same essay he writes:

 

“The future restoration of Israel has never been promised to the unfaithful, unregenerate members of the nation (John 3:3-10; Romans 2:25- 29)-only to the faithful remnant.”27

 

In the latter quote Moore clearly concedes Israel’s irrevocable corporate election in his affirmation that the reprobate who were mixed with them were not regarded in the election. This is simply another way of affirming, God’s appointment of the corporate body of the biological descendants of Jacob was predetermined as the Israel of God's irrevocable choice, apart from the reprobate who were mixed with them.

One can concede that the NT Gentile converts are perceived as joining the Israel of God's irrevocable choice, but in what sense are they restored according to Moore—or in what sense does Moore interpret the verb restore in texts such as Acts 1:6. The sense he eschews is the principal biological sense; only the biological descendants can suffer loss, be given up for a time in Micah 5 and ultimately be restored.

 

Therefore, will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. (Micah 5:3)

 

Only the biological descendants of Ephraim can be restored in the historical-grammatical sense in Hosea.

 

And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. (Hosea 2:23)

 

In the principal sense, only the elect biological descendants, the northern nation can represent the woman in Hosea and Micah, above, that is restored at an appointed time. In this work, the phrase, principal sense, pertains to the first-thought meaning as defined by covenantalist and amillennialist Vern S. Poythress in his book: Understanding Dispensationalists.

 

“This example shows that for most words there is something like a first-thought meaning, a meaning that one would naturally give when asked, ‘What does this word mean?’ Not everyone might say exactly the same thing, but one sort of answer would usually dominate.”28

 

Sound reasoning maintains that the historical-grammatical interpretation corresponds with the first-thought meaning or principal sense and in this sense the woman in Micah 5:3 and Hosea 2:23 must be rendered as the elect biological descendants of Jacob, specifically the elect of the northern nation of Ephraim. Poythress is not examining the term Israel, above, but the word “battle to argue that context can alter the meaning of words into other less used senses or can become idiomatic of another word or phrase altogether.

 

“When, however, once we are given even a little bit of context, our guesses about the meaning may change radically.”29

 

Poythress is setting up the covenantalist’s argument which radically alters the term Israel with the reasoning that the distant and earthshaking eschatological context warrants the drastic shift from the historical-grammatical, principal sense.

 

“The important question at this point is not about a specific passage but about principle, a principle of prophetic interpretation. I claim that there is sound, solid, grammatical-historical ground for interpreting eschatological fulfillments of prophecy on a different basis than preeschatological fulfillments. The Israelites of Jeremiah’s day should have absorbed (albeit often unconsciously) the earthshaking, transformational character of the eschatological coming of God. It is therefore a move away from grammatical-historical interpretation to insist that (say) the “house of Israel” and the “house of Judah” of Jeremiah 31:31 must with dogmatic certainty be interpreted in the most prosaic biological sense, a sense that an Israelite might be likely to apply as a rule of thumb in short-term prediction.”30

 

Poythress violates the rule of non-contradiction when later he states this shift, “should not undermine or contradict grammatical-historical interpretation,” even as it, “goes beyond its bounds.”

 

“In other words, one must compare later Scripture to earlier Scripture to understand everything. Such comparison, though it should not undermine or contradict grammatical-historical interpretation, goes beyond its bounds. It takes account of information not available in the original historical and cultural context.… True, grammatical-historical interpretation exercises a vital role in bringing controls and refinements to our understanding of particular texts. But we must also undertake to relate those texts forward to further revelation that they anticipate and prepare for.”31

 

One must agree with Poythress that the distance and earthshaking event of the eschatological context and NT revelation does diminish, “the most prosaic biological sense,” in the way the term Israel must be interpreted, but it would be wrong to maintain that the context ends the principal sense altogether, which unequivocally, “undermines or contradicts the grammatical-historical interpretation,” and this is precisely what covenantalists attempt concerning eschatological prophecy. Herein lies Poythress’s violation. In returning to Moore’s use of the term restoration concerning Israel, the biological sense simply cannot be omitted without, “undermining or contradicting the grammatical-historical interpretation,” which Poythress affirmed must be avoided, as perplexing as his statement is, in light of the fact that covenantalists undermine the hermeneutic persistently. Furthermore, it must be considered that the gentiles “were without Christ … aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12) and as such they cannot be restored in the principal sense as the biological descendants.

As stated above, one can concede Poythress’s assertion, “the earthshaking, transformational character of the eschatological coming of God,” has its effects on how Israel is perceived, but only in the sense that “in Christ” elect Jews and Ephraimites are no longer held to the Old Covenant (OC) laws prohibiting intermarriage or that genealogies are germane (Deuteronomy 7:3-5; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:13); even so, in another sense they still remain the distant biological descendants which maintains that God’s elections are irrevocable, as they are the Israel of God's irrevocable choice, by whom the gentiles are blessed (Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 26:4). Certainly, this is one of, “the earthshaking, transformational,” changes, “of the eschatological coming of God,” using Poythress’s words above. In Christ, Jew, Ephraimite and Gentile become corporately perceived as one, but in the biological sense, women remain women, as Ephraimites remain biological heirs of Abraham no matter how diminished that biological sense becomes due to the end of the prohibitions against intermarriage and when the concern for genealogies is quashed (1 Timothy 1:3; Titus 3:9). Moreover, the covenantalist’s perception omits the birthright of fecundity passed down from Jacob to the descendants of the northern tribes (Genesis 48:3-4, 16-20) which renders them a copious people in Providence, much greater and more numerous than the hardened Jews who covenantalists perceive as the only Israelites. First Samuel 15:29 affirms that God “is not a man, that he should repent.” Poythress, McMahon and Moore fail to maintain this principle in comprehending the term Israel in scripture, specifically in eschatological prophecy. God did not repent concerning the biological descendant’s commission to bless the nations at the first advent, even as their biological identity diminished; in a sense, it became the means to bless the nations. It is precisely this perception that accounts for, “information not available in the original historical and cultural context,” of the prophets, as Poythress expressed it, above, as this understanding neither harms, nor undermines or contradicts the historical-grammatical interpretation of Judah and Ephraim. Any principle in determining how one discerns the term Israel in eschatological context must avoid tension between OT and NT revelation, tension which Poythress subsequently expressed, perplexing as it may be.

Poythress’s work is described as perplexing because in truth, covenantalism does not maintain the “principle of accounting for information not available in the original historical and cultural context” while preserving correspondence between Old and NT revelation. As previously mentioned, it violates the rule of non-contradiction to maintain that the gentiles are restored in the same sense as the biological descendants of Ephraim, or that the free will of the reprobate shepherds of Judah determined the destiny of the elect biological descendants of Israel. The covenantalist’s perception of the title Israel in eschatological prophecy also violates the rule of non-contradiction concerning the omniscience and omnipotence of God when covenantalists acknowledge these attributes but maintain prophecy as conditional. The perception of conditional prophecy violates the OT revelation that when a prophet spoke for God it must come to pass, which is deduced from Deuteronomy below.

 

When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22)

 

Eschatological prophecy was essentially linked to the immediate predictions of the prophets, Jeremiah being a salient example. The seventy years of exile determined upon Judah was promptly fulfilled, relatively, while the promise and prophecy of the institution of the NC was eschatological in relation, dealing with the distant future as affirmed by NT revelation (Jeremiah 29:10; 31:31-43; Hebrews 12:24). Texts such as Jeremiah 7:1-7, 18:7-10 as well as the book of Jonah are cited by covenantalists, not unlike the use of dispensationalists, to assert that all promises and prophecies concerning Israel were conditional or contingent, and that God is restrained by man’s will, in contradiction to the reality of God’s omniscience and omnipotence. As stated, concerning the dispensationalists, the perception of contingency in prophecy stems from a libertarian and open theist view of free will,32 which is incompatible with the compatibilist’s view.33 While one expects this from dispensationalists because of their notion of the parenthesis, covenantalists are Calvinist and should know better. In the previous chapter we established that progressive revelation vindicates the fact that the law was not intended to promote obedience according to Romans 7:5 and 8-11. It was the NC that was intended to put God’s laws into the mind and write them in the hearts of the chosen or elect (Hebrews 8:7-11). Furthermore, this work conveyed that the libertarian or open theists’s perception of free will cannot endure against Paul’s testimony in Romans 7 that man’s will is subject to his CN and causes him to sin against his will however, without nullifying his accountability. Paul concludes that only those “in Christ” are manumitted from the CN and are released to obey God’s law and will receive justification for their sins (Romans 8:1-4). The Calvinist’s perceptions of God’s foreknowledge in texts such as Romans 8:29-30 indicate that God was familiar with the elect before creation (Jeremiah 1:5; Ephesians 1:4), which also concurs with his foreknowledge of how man responds to what appears as contingencies (conveyed appropriately as anthropomorphic shepherding). Scripture affirms that sin is caused by an organic influence capable of overpowering the will and reminds us that man is accountable, which repudiates contingency in regards to prophecy and the perception of free will by Libertarianism. What we can also garnered from the examination of the CN, is that the power of the flesh was sanctioned until an appointed time, when manumission would be made possible for the elect by the remarkable sacrifice of Christ, and the glorious inauguration of the Israel’s NC.

Like dispensationalists, Calvin affirmed that God had an appointed time when Christ would come as determined from the Persian decree to restore Judah’s nationhood and the Hebraic cultus in the prophecies of Daniel 9.

 

“We shall now treat the sense in which the going forth of the edict ought to be received. In the meantime, it cannot be denied that the angel pronounces this concerning the edict which had been promulgated about the bringing back of the people, and the restoration of the city. It would, therefore, be foolish to apply it to a period at which the city was not restored, and no such decree had either been uttered or made public. But, first of all, we must treat what the angel says, until the Christ, the Messiah. Some desire to take this singular noun in a plural sense, as if it were the Christ of the Lord, meaning his priests; while some refer it to Zerubbabel, and others to Joshua. But clearly enough the angel speaks of Christ, of whom both kings and priests under the law were a type and figure”34

 

As stated previously, the incompatibilist’s arguments pertaining to accountability and against causal determination are overcome by Paul’s testimony concerning the subjection of the will to the CN. Again, Paul revealed that it was Christ’s propitiation that released man from the CN (Romans 8:1-4), which confirms that Calvin actually refutes the covenantalist’s understanding of conditional prophecy. Just like the dispensationalists, Calvin’s commentary on Daniel 9:25, concerning the appointed time of, “Messiah the Prince,” actually advocates that the time for the propitiation of sin was determined from the seventy weeks in Daniel 9, which was determined from Judah’s rejection of God’s call to repent in Jeremiah 18:7-10. This important correlation substantiates that God indeed, had foreknowledge that Judah would not repent and this is a representative application of the divided sense in prophecy; consequently, Jeremiah 18 cannot be used to prove that man causes God to repent or alter his plans for the unforeseeable. Such foreknowledge confirms, with NT evidence, that man was in subjugation to the CN and could not keep the law until the manumission mentioned above, being God’s will, at God’s appointed time. What appears as contingencies to man is rudimentary revelation, perceived as contingencies, where God merely abstains from moving against the CN in order to carry out his Divine Providence. The appearance of contingences in Jeremiah 18:7–10 and the book of Jonah, from whence covenantalists draw their conclusions concerning contingency in regards to prophecy, are only contingencies as they appear to man, but God’s plans are ordained. The lesson to be learned in this case is that man is incapable of complying with God’s law without his causal direction (Psalms 37:23; Proverbs 3:6; Jeremiah 31:9, 28; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Peter 2:9). Could Yahweh be Elohim without divine providence?

 

Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear. (Psalms 10:17)

 

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

 

Without God’s direction, the will of man is enslaved to the CN. Texts such as Jeremiah 7:1-7 and 18:7-10 are conveyed in the divided sense, the appearance of contingency, as only God can cause men to amend their ways and their doings. The assertion of contingency in prophecy stems from the fallacy that the declarative law could be complied with without the need of the NC but Paul makes it very plain that the SC was never intended as such but was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ and justification (Galatians 3:24). The doctrine of contingency in prophecy is a fallacy. Prophecy is preordained, it is the foreknowledge of God, his compound will and the decretive sense (Isaiah 41:21-23; 42:9; 44:7; 45:11; 46:10; 48:3,5,6; Jeremiah 1:5; Act 15:8; Romans 8:29).

God knows how man will respond beforehand, which may appear to man as contingency but is just that, mere appearance. All the prophets anticipated that Israel would fail to comply with the SC. God well knew it and planned to intervene at an appointed time and establish the NC which would impart the ability to comply with his law—so necessary for the consummation of the kingdom (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 11:14-21). Romans 9-11 affirms that in God’s judgments upon Israel he hardens some and intervenes for the elect remnant.

 

Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:9)

 

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: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?  (Romans 9:22-24)

 

At the first advent the vessels of wrath were ordained to reject Christ (Psalms 118:22-23; 1 Peter 2:7-8), while those who avowed him were chosen “before the foundation of the world” (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:4). This affirms that God did not offer the kingdom of heaven at the first advent. It is this perspective that informs us that God foreknows nothing contingently.37 Covenantalists maintain the fallacy that the reprobate Jews who were appointed to wrath (Romans 9:21) were offered the kingdom which they were never destined to inherit, wrongfully surmising the notion of contingency in prophecy.

The epistles of Peter are fundamental in determining the sense in which the title Israel is comprehended in eschatological fulfillment, specifically 1 Peter 2:10. The covenantalist’s presuppositions in interpreting Israel in Peter fails to maintain the historical-grammatical hermeneutic and Calvin’s own misinterpretations are a salient example of the same. Calvin acknowledged the biological sense in Hosea’s phrase “in time past were not a people” when he stated that, “Hosea, after having in God’s name declared that the Jews were repudiated, gives them a hope of a future restoration.”38 The historical-grammatical principle maintains the texts from Hosea pertain to Ephraim, not Judah. Calvin went on to describe the first century Jewish condition as, “they seemed to be no longer God’s people, no worship remained among them, they were become entangled in the corruptions of the heathens,”39 which can hardly be applied to the Jews of the time still scattered in the nations, as substantiated in Acts 2:5. The citation from Hosea pertains to the northern kingdom, the ten tribes of Israel, also called Ephraim, who were cast off and scattered by God because of their idolatry and because they entered into alliances with the Syria and Egypt, which was clearly anthropomorphically depicted by Hosea. No doubt, Calvin misconstrued a number of texts in Peter’s epistles on the basis of his defective hermeneutics. These same texts in recent times have been used by Covenantalists to assert that Peter addressed his epistles to Gentiles, and such positing moves them even farther away from correspondence between Old and NT revelation. The mention of past idolatries in 1 Peter 4:3 has been used in their contemporary assertions to endorse the claim that Peter addressed his epistles to gentiles, making his citation from Hosea 1:10 and 2:23 allegorical as opposed to actual execution. Such perceptions are wanting in the principal sense in that the idolatries mentioned in Hosea pertained to the ten northern tribes taken captive by the Assyrians clearly conveyed in Hosea. Peter’s epistle was addressed to the elect descendants of these ten tribes that were still dwelling in great numbers in the provinces he mentioned, thus the Covenantalist’s perception is found wanting.

Concerning Hosea 2, the historical-grammatical rule conveys a distinction between the biological descendants of the northern and southern nations, descended from Jacob. The anthropomorphic betrothal pertains specifically to the descendants of Ephraim, the northern nation, which we dealt with in the previous chapter. The most relevant information not available in the original historical and cultural context in the NT is Romans 7:1-4, which alludes to Deuteronomy 24:1-4 and reveals that Ephraim’s release from the marriage contract (Jeremiah 2:3; 3:14; 31:32; Ezekiel 16:32) was required before they could become eligible to return to their husband again, anthropomorphically depicted in Hosea. While God had not divorced Judah, they also needed to be released from the covenant to be betrothed to Christ. It is perceivable that in the original historical and cultural context Israelites were not allowed to see the particulars concerning their release from the SC; nevertheless, they were aware of the prophecies of Hosea and aware of the impediment of Deuteronomy 24:4 conveyed in Isaiah 50:1 and Jeremiah 3:1, 8.

Romans 7:1-4 provides the particulars in resolving the impediment—it was the death of Christ and his resurrection by which the elect biological descendants were released from the OC to be betrothed with Christ in the NC. This confirms that the husband in Hosea who divorced Ephraim was Christ, before his incarnation. By deduction, Christ is revealed as the entity that Israel married at Sinai, as it was he that had to die to release them. It is not acceptable to say that it is the gentiles who fulfill the prophecy in Hosea as they were not joined to Christ by the OC as was Israel.

 

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision … being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.  (Ephesians 2:11-12)

 

Only Ephraim fulfills the type to be the woman in Hosea 2 as it was only Ephraim that was divorced in Hosea’s narrative, as well as Jeremiah’s and Isaiah’s. Isaiah 50 pertains specifically to Christ and God’s call to Israel to obey his servant Christ.

 

The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.… Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. (Isaiah 50:5-6, 10)

 

Calvin failed to accurately account for the historical-grammatical interpretation, the principal sense pertaining to the query, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement?” in Isaiah 50:1.

 

“In order to have a general understanding of it, we must observe that union by which the Lord everywhere testifies that his people are bound to him; that is, that he occupies the place of a husband, and that we occupy the place of a wife. It is a spiritual marriage, which has been consecrated by his eternal doctrine and sealed by the blood of Christ.”40

 

In Calvin’s assertion that this marriage is sealed by the blood of Christ Calvin clearly interprets the marriage as the one under the NC (Hebrews 10:12-13); the OC was sealed by the blood of animals (Exodus 24). Calvin is guilty of omitting the principal sense that the divorced women represents Ephraim and the divorce was under the OC. Calvin reveals the “servant” as Christ, who gives his “back to the smiters” and his “cheeks to them that plucked off the hair.”41 Again, Calvin misses the historical-grammatical sense by interpreting Isaiah 50 as pertaining to the Jews and disregarding Ephraim altogether.

 

“Thus, when the Jews were oppressed by calamities so many and so great, that it was easy to conclude that God had rejected and divorced them, the cause of the divorce came to be the subject of inquiry.”42

 

Nevertheless, Calvin renders Isaiah 50:10 as still pertaining to a remnant, which Calvin labels believers, who answer the voice of the servant, and these believers can be none other than the elect, which by necessity must be acknowledged as predestined and foreseen by God.

 

“Yet he addresses them separately, that they may detach themselves from the mixed crowd, and not take part in counsels which are wicked, and which God has condemned … there are some left who shall profit by his doctrine.”43

 

Calvin wisely used the NT to interpret the identity of the servant in Isaiah 50 as Christ, but in obscurity he omitted the historical-grammatical principal sense, which blinded him from seeing the people in Isaiah as the very people in the narratives of the gospels and epistles: “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew … Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:2, 5). The promise and prophecies concerning the remnant, elect, are determined by God’s decrees, for appointed times; they are not to be perceived in the divided sense. The first advent was the determined time for the divorced woman in Hosea, Jeremiah and Isaiah to be betrothed to her husband once again. It is then this nation that bears the fruit in Matthew 21:43, a premise which is maintained in the Two House model.

Paul’s analysis of the circumstances of the first advent corresponds with the precedent in Jeremiah 29:4-7, which the book of Esther also confirms. In times of judgement and reform God intercedes for the elect remnant in exile and the gentiles are blessed because of them.

 

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. (Jeremiah 29:4-7)

 

The dichotomy between the two responses to Christ at the first advent was explained by Paul as the distinction between the children of the promise and the children of the flesh. The same distinction conveys the response to Jeremiah’s prophecy in the Babylonian exile. At the first advent the majority of Judah represented the children of the flesh and caused the nation to be cast off, which brought about the circumstances whereby God interceded for the remnant, the children of the promise, and they became a blessing upon the nations in fulfillment of Genesis 12:2-3. In like manner, the remnant that went peaceably to Babylon became the means by which the heathen cities prospered as in the cases of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Daniel 1-6). Christ, as the supreme prophet Moses anticipated (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:22-23), represents the anti-type of Jeremiah, who rebuked the false prophets that claimed God would save Jerusalem (Jeremiah 29:8-9; John 11:45-53) and who interceded for the children of the promise who submitted to him and ultimately went peaceably into the world to propagate the gospel, in fulfillment of the parables of Matthew 13, and the prophesies of Hosea 2:19-23 and Zechariah 10:7-9, as related in the first chapter of this work.

The covenantalist’s presuppositions of God’s omniscience, omnipotence, immutability and etc., are touted as forming the basis of their perceptions on predestination and God’s foreknowledge but are not taken to their logical conclusions when they continue to foster fallacies in contradiction to the aforementioned. They continue to violate the rule of non-contradiction when they maintain that gentiles are restored in the same sense as the biological descendants of Ephraim, or that the free will of the reprobate shepherds of Judah determined the destiny of the elect biological descendants of Israel. They violate the rule of non-contradiction when they maintain the fallacy that the Jews could comply with the declarative law without the establishment of the NC or that they could avow Christ without the aid of the Holy Spirit moving on the human will, which under their doctrine only applies to the predetermined elect. One cannot hold that God does not repent like a man and render the NT as anything other than the fulfillment of God’s declarative will, which is proceeding precisely according to how the prophets anticipated. The NT merely compliments the historical-grammatical principal sense; it clearly does not end or abolish the first-thought meaning of the title of Israel.44 Because of their fallacies they are simply unqualified to properly render John’s apocalypse or prophecy in general. They hold the presupposition that God does not change his mind, but as to the identity of Israel in Revelation 7 they fallaciously maintain God does exactly that, he changed his mind.  

Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. (Psalms 83:1-4)

Only the Two House model adheres to the presuppositions of predestination and compatibilism and reconciles the Old and New Testaments.

 

please send questions or responses here



1. Arminianism and Calvinism acknowledged God's foreknowledge but parts ways on the issue of free will.

2. John Calvin held double predestination, that man was, “predestinated either to life or to death.” Institutes, (Book Ill, Ch. XXI, Sec. 5)

3. Avowed covenantalist and president of Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), Russell Moore, states: “Covenant theologians argue that the future restoration of Israel will be fulfilled-but fulfilled in the church, a largely Gentile body that has ‘replaced’ the Jewish theocracy since the nation rejected her Messiah at Jesus’ first advent.” “Is There a Future for Israel?” Russel Moore.com, https://www.russellmoore.com/2009/01/09/is-there-a-future-for-israel/

4. John Gill's Exposition on the Whole Bible, s.v. Matthew 21:43

5. Adam Clarke’s Commentary, s.v. Matthew 21:43

6. Jamieson Fausset Brown Bible Commentary, s.v. Rom 9:6.

7. Thomas R. Schreiner, “Does Romans 9 Teach Individual Election Unto Salvation? Some Exegetical and Theological Reflections,” JETS 36/1 (March 1993), 38

8. Moore, “Is There a Future for Israel?”

9. Wikipedia, “The invisible church or church invisible is a theological concept of an ‘invisible’ body of the elect who are known only to God, in contrast to the ‘visible church’—that is, the institutional body on earth which preaches the gospel and administers the sacraments,” last modified July 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Church_invisible&action=history

10 . McMahon, The Two Wills of God, Kindle location 5856.

11. As stated previously, the superior translation of κλεκτος παρεπιδήμοις Διασπορς is “elect exiles of the dispersion.”

12. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews

13. Theopedia, s.v. Basic beliefs, “Compatibilism . . . teaches that people are free, but defines freedom differently.”

14. McMahon, “God never repents, never gets angry, never is jealous, etc. He is without passions and emotions in the compound sense,” The Two Wills of God (Puritan Publications, 2005), Kindle location 370.

15. Ibid., Kindle location 3034.

16. Ibid., Kindle location 6249.

17. Ibid., Kindle location 6825.

18 Ibid., “What does the law of non-contradiction teach? The law of non-contradiction states the following: ‘A’ cannot be both ‘A’ and non-A at the same time and in the same relationship.” Kindle location 445.

19. Ibid., Kindle location 5856.

20. Theopedia, “God is said to influence our desires, and thus is able to have exhaustive control of all that goes on,” s.v. God’s involvement, http://www.theopedia.com/compatibilism

21. McMahon, The Two Wills of God, Kindle location 3031.

22 Ibid. 

23 Adam Clarke’s Commentary, s.v. John 11:52

24. John Gill, “the children of God that were scattered abroad; by which may be meant . . . the Jews, who were scattered amidst the nations of the world . . . but rather the elect of God among the Gentiles, called "the children of God", in opposition to a notion of the Jews.” John Gill's Exposition on the Entire Bible, s.v. John 11:52. 

25. Wikipedia, “The historical-grammatical method is a Christian hermeneutical method that strives to discover the Biblical author's original intended meaning in the text.” s.v. Historical-grammatical method, last modified May 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical-grammatical_method

26. Moore, “Is There a Future for Israel?”

27. Ibid.

28. Vern S. Poythress, Understanding Dispensationalists (Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1994), 79.

29. Ibid.

30. Ibid., 107.

31. Ibid., 116

32. Theopedia, “In libertarianism (not to be confused with the political ideology), free will is affected by human nature but man retains ability to choose contrary to his nature and desires.” Free Will, s.v. Libertarian freedom,  http://www.theopedia.com/free-will

33. Theopedia, “Libertarian free will maintains that for any choice made, one could always equally have chosen otherwise, or not chosen at all.” Compatibilism, s.v. Basic beliefs, http://www.theopedia.com/compatibilism

 

34. Calvin’s Commentaries, s.v. Daniel 9:25

37. Martin Luther, The Bondage of The Will

38. Calvin's Commentary on the Bible, s.v. 1 Peter 2:10, Study Light.org, https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-peter-2.html

39. Ibid.

40. Ibid., s.v. Isaiah 50:1

41. Ibid., s.v. Isaiah 50:4

42. Ibid.

43. Ibid., s.v. Isaiah 50:10

44. Poythress, Understanding Dispensationalists, 79.