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Offline RB

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illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 05:06:53 »
In another thread on this forum:
Quote
http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/nt-verses-to-churches-threaten-loss-of-salvation/msg1055138313/?topicseen#msg1055138313
In which I had no desire to be part of because of the many words going back and forth on different subjects one which I thought that it would be good to have a discussion on the absolute need of illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God especially so in light of the confusion that I was reading. There are a group of men on this forum who believes that truth comes by their "own efforts" alone without God's Spirit illuminating their understanding~of course this goes well with their gospel based on human merits of their free will, and the will of man directing them enabling them to see and understand spiritual truths apart from God intervening. In that thread one said:
Quote from: soterion Reply #43 on: Fri May 03, 2019 - 17:46:
The scriptures are the spiritual revelation from God; they are the work of the Holy Spirit by which God reveals His will to man (2 Peter 1:19-21).

When we read what is written, we can understand God's will (Ephesians 3:1-5). God expects us to study (2 Timothy 2:15). This should tell us that understanding comes from diligent study, not from further revelation from the Spirit on top of the revelation He has already given for that purpose.
Red highlights are mine for our discussion. Another person said in the same thread:
Quote from: 4WD Reply #46 on: Sat May 04, 2019 - 06:16:17
Holding to the doctrine of illumination is basically a failure to understand the work of the Holy Spirit and particularly the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the saved.

The doctrine of illumination as commonly taught is not a biblical doctrine. This is true for at least four reasons. One, Christian people who claim to be illumined by the Spirit often have different and even opposing understandings of the same passages of Scripture, e.g., texts about gender roles or the millennium.

Two, even those who believe in illumination recognize that individual Christians grow in their understanding and sometimes change their interpretations of Scripture. When this happens, one always assumes that he is changing from a mistaken view to the correct view, or from a nonillumined view to an illumined view. But does this not mean that what he once thought was an illumined view was actually a mistaken view? So how can he be sure that his present views are illumined rather than mistaken, and that no further changes will occur?

Three, the doctrine of illumination is actually the product of the doctrine of universal total depravity. Illumination is necessary because the totally depraved person is completely blind in his intellect and cannot understand the Bible unless illumined by the Spirit. But as I have already noted elsewhere, the doctrine of total depravity is itself not biblical. The sinner’s blindness is partial and willful, not total and inborn (Rom 1:18; Eph 4:18).

The fourth reason for rejecting the doctrine of illumination is that it has no exegetical basis in Scripture. Ironically, the passages cited as proof-texts for this doctrine are themselves misinterpreted and misapplied. For example, Matt 10:19-20; John 14:26; 16:13; and 1 Cor 2:10-13 apply only to the apostles, and refer to revelation and inspiration. They are not general promises to all Christians; to apply them thus is a serious error.
We shall thus test both of these men by the word of God over the next few days, and both shall come up wanting when their teaching is compared to the word of God I am convinced.
Quote from: PAul
2nd Corinthians 4:6~“For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”.
This divine illumination, which the mind receives at the new birth, is not by means of dreams or visions, nor does it consist in the revelation of things to the soul, which have not been made known in the Scriptures. Let us be clear on this point moving forward. The only means or instrument, which the Holy Spirit employs, is the written Word:
Quote from: David
Psalm 119:130~ “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple”
So, God’s Word may have been read attentively, and much of its teaching intellectually apprehended; but because there was a veil upon the heart (2nd Corinthians 3:15) and so no spiritual discernment (Ist Corinthians 2:14 Scriptures 4WD apply only to the apostles to avoid this blessed truth) the reader was not inwardly affected thereby. But now the Spirit removes that veil, opens the heart to receive the Word, as God did to Lydia~(Acts 16:14), and powerfully applies to the mind and conscience some portion of it. The result is that the one renewed is able to say, “One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). To particularize:

The sinner is now enlightened in the knowledge of his own terrible condition. He may, before this, have received much Scriptural instruction, subscribed to a sound creed, and believed intellectually in “the total depravity of man”; but now the solemn declarations of God’s Word concerning the state of the fallen creature are brought home in piercing power to his own soul. No longer does he compare himself with his fellows, but measures himself by the rule of God. He now discovers that he is unclean, that his heart is “desperately wicked,” and that he is altogether unfit for the presence of the thrice holy God. He is powerfully convicted of his own awful sins, feels that they are more in number than the hairs of his head, and that they are high provocations against heaven, which call for divine judgment on him. He now realizes that there is “no soundness”~ in him, and that all his best performances are only as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), and that he is deserving of nothing but the everlasting destruction from God's presence.

By the spiritual light which God communicates after regeneration the soul now perceives the infinite demerits of sin, that its “wages” can be nothing less than eternal death, or the loss of divine favor and a dreadful suffering under the wrath of God. The equity of God’s law and the fact that sin righteously calls for such terrible punishment is humbly acknowledged. Thus his mouth is “stopped” and he confesses himself to be guilty before God, and justly liable to His awful vengeance, both for the plague of his own heart and his numerous transgressions.

By means of this illumination the renewed soul, under the guidance of the Spirit through the Word, now perceives how well suited is Christ to such a poor, worthless wretch as he feels himself to be. The prospect of obtaining deliverance from the wrath to come through the vicarious life and death of the Lord Jesus, keeps his soul from being overwhelmed with and from sinking into complete despondency because of the sight of his sins. As the Spirit presents to him the infinite merits of Christ’s obedience and righteousness, His tender compassion for sinners, His power to save, desires for an interest in Christ now possess his heart, and he is resolved to look for salvation in no other. Under the benign influences of the Holy Spirit, the soul is drawn by some such words as, “Come unto me ill ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” or “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” and he is led to apply to Him for pardon, cleansing, peace, righteousness, strength.

Other acts besides turning to Christ flow from this new principle reserved at regeneration, such as repentance, which is a godly sorrow for sin, in abhorring of it as sin, and an earnest desire to forsake and be completely delivered from its pollution. In the light of God, the renewed soul now perceives the utter vanity of the world, and the worthlessness of those paltry toys and perishing trifles, which the godless strive so hard to acquire, has been awakened from the dream-sleep of death, and things are now seen in their true nature Time is precious and not to be frittered away. God in His awesome majesty is an object to be feared. His law is accepted as holy, just, and good. All of these perceptions and actions are included in holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. In some these actions are more vigorous than in others, and consequently, are more perceptible to a man’s self. But the fruits of them are visible to others in external acts.No man comes to this point in his life on HIS OWN, is so clear from scriptures:
Quote from: JESUS CHRIST
Matthew 16:16,17~"And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."
Beginning here let us search the scriptures and see the truth and reject the false notions of men.
« Last Edit: Mon May 13, 2019 - 05:31:04 by RB »

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illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 05:06:53 »

Offline 4WD

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #1 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 06:27:33 »
There are a group of men on this forum who believes that truth comes by their "own efforts" alone without God's Spirit illuminating their understanding~
At that really summarizes the problem here.  I don't know anyone posting here that believes that.  No one here that I know of has ever said that we come to believe in God, believe in Jesus, or believe in the gospel without God's Spirit.  But just as you have read into the Scriptures your own misguided opinion of what God as said and what He means, it seems that you have also read into the posts here your own misguided opinion of what they have said and what they mean.  The question to be resolved is the means whereby understanding of all things theological come by way of the Holy Spirit.  That is a question that you have failed to resolve.

Because, when you begin with a false premise as you have obviously done here, there is little chance that you will end up with a true result.  This is well represented by the misappropriated Scripture:
Quote from: RB
The result is that the one renewed is able to say, “One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).
That passage has not one thing to do with divinely imparted knowledge; rather it is explicitly speaking of Jesus' healing of a man born physically blind (John 9:1).

All, or most, of the rest of what you have presented here is but one more aspect of your misguided opinion of what regeneration is.  It is not, as you propose, a cure to the unbiblical condition of total depravity.  I will leave it at that to see where this goes.

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #1 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 06:27:33 »

Offline soterion

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #2 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 07:10:07 »
Quote
Matthew 16:16,17~"And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."
Beginning here let us search the scriptures and see the truth and reject the false notions of men.

If you want to start here, that's fine.

This revelation was given to all of them. All of the apostles were exposed to the same information over the course of Jesus’ ministry from the beginning to that point. Any of them could have answered similar to Peter, but Peter often speaks up first.

How did the Father reveal this fact to them?

In John 5:31-40 Jesus tells the Jews that there are four witnesses that testify to who He is; John the Baptist, His works, the Father (Jesus' words), and the Scriptures.

It was not man that revealed to the apostles that Jesus is the Christ, but rather it was God through the aforementioned witnesses that the apostles came to this understanding. When the apostles in turn preached Jesus, they confirmed their message through miracles and inspired preaching and teaching given to them by the Spirit (John 15:26-27; Hebrews 2:3-4; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

How do we know today that Jesus is the Christ? Through the word of the apostles (John 17:20) which was given to them by the Spirit and was recorded for us by the Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17). When we agree with the Spirit inspired message contained in Scripture, we are believing in the Christ by means of God (1 Corinthians 12:3). In other words, flesh and blood is not the source that reveals Jesus as the Christ to us today; it is God who reveals this to us through His word. Only by agreement with Spirit given testimony from God can a person know of Jesus as the Christ today.

As for your use of 2 Corinthians 3:15, it is actually a misuse of the passage. The passage is simply pointing out that those Jews who continue to look to and read Moses, instead of turning to Christ, continue to have the veil over their hearts. Only though turning to Christ according to the gospel is the veil removed. Your use of the passage in your post is a misapplication.

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #2 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 07:10:07 »

revc

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #3 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 08:22:45 »
The first two replies to the OP are a waste of time, as far as the starter of the thread is concerned, something I’m sure the two men fully know.   This is because the OP should be interpreted and the discussion started there.  The OP, interpreted, says “My name is Red Baker, I possess divine illumination and insight into the scriptures.  The way I see the scriptures, based only on my understanding of the KJV, which is the only word of God (to the English speaking world, at least), is the sole truth in religious matters, and no facts that are at odds with my views are in reality facts but are the wisdom of men, who are obviously not enlightened or else they would agree precisely with every pronouncement of mine.” 

How can one who claims divine illumination be wrong in his understanding? Can this kind of person ever be convinced of an error of understanding?  The first two replies show misunderstood and misapplied scriptures right off the bat.  How can that even be possible with divine illumination?  How does one who has been divinely enlightened err in his understanding of scripture?  Why, and how, would God enlighten a person in any degree of error?  If this person ever admitted error or changed his view on anything, what does that say about the former view?  How could it have been divine illumination if the position needed improvement or replacement? 

What happens when two people claiming divine illumination do not agree?  This was brought up before, but not answered.  Does one of the enlightened question the enlightenment of the other?  Is it possible for the Spirit to give one of these enlightened persons erroneous understanding?  How does one enlightened, who is in error, get to know he is in error?  Seems there are quite a few questions that need answering.  But, does the person claiming divine illumination need even stoop to the level of answering questions about his illumination?  Does anyone even dare question the enlightened?  Are those of us that wonder about the enlightened have the right to ask questions, or are we to take it at face value that everyone who claims such is to be listened to and cannot err regarding the scriptures?

What of those who are enlightened in the scriptures of their own language that see things differently than someone who claims illumination in, say, English?  Suppose, for the sake of argument, that a person whose native language is Greek and another person’s is English and the one who reads the Greek manuscripts used by English translators finds fault with the understanding of the one who is reliant only on English and how he tends to understand what he reads?  Does the Spirit enlighten people differently, depending on the language they speak? 

I’m sure others may have similar questions, or would like to see these few samples answered without the vitriol and spiteful attacks that usually accompany such attempts at arriving at facts.

Edit/addidtion:
Quote
"We shall thus test both of these men by the word of God over the next few days, and both shall come up wanting when their teaching is compared to the word of God I am convinced.."
 

Does that sound like there is any possibility in the mind of RB that he stands the remotest chance of being wrong? He has already concluded that there is no way the questions raised need answered or that statements that have been posted can possibly be right. And based on what? Not what the scriptures say, but what he says they say.

RC
« Last Edit: Mon May 13, 2019 - 10:44:34 by revc »

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #3 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 08:22:45 »

revc

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #4 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 14:08:22 »
Today, here at work, I was looking into something on the internet and ended up down a rabbit hole that made me wonder about this forum and one person in particular.  I ran across familiar information on intellectual dishonesty and the topic of data/evidence.  I may start a thread on these topics as being relevant to discussions such as occur here.  After reading through some thoughts on intellectual dishonesty I could not help being reminded of the OP of this thread.  Anyone with any familiarity with the topic just has to know exactly where much of the OP came from.  I am forced to wonder why certain material is considered perfectly fine to submit as data/evidence, but other data, such as in the linguistic disciplines is taboo.  In connection with this question a point I ran across that indicates intellectual dishonesty says:

"Employing double standards or “Your evidence is unacceptable (because it’s your evidence)”. This is a question of how high the bar is set for the acceptance of evidence – the bar is set at a much higher level for the other party, while it is set far lower for his/her own evidence."

I thought this was appropriate for thought here. 

RC

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #4 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 14:08:22 »



Offline soterion

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #5 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 15:18:35 »
Today, here at work, I was looking into something on the internet and ended up down a rabbit hole that made me wonder about this forum and one person in particular.  I ran across familiar information on intellectual dishonesty and the topic of data/evidence.  I may start a thread on these topics as being relevant to discussions such as occur here.  After reading through some thoughts on intellectual dishonesty I could not help being reminded of the OP of this thread.  Anyone with any familiarity with the topic just has to know exactly where much of the OP came from.  I am forced to wonder why certain material is considered perfectly fine to submit as data/evidence, but other data, such as in the linguistic disciplines is taboo.  In connection with this question a point I ran across that indicates intellectual dishonesty says:

"Employing double standards or “Your evidence is unacceptable (because it’s your evidence)”. This is a question of how high the bar is set for the acceptance of evidence – the bar is set at a much higher level for the other party, while it is set far lower for his/her own evidence."

I thought this was appropriate for thought here. 

RC

What you are describing could be a symptom of cognitive dissonance. When a person is experiencing this, it is easier to discount or discredit whatever evidence is creating the conflict with long held beliefs, rather than dealing with that evidence fairly and honestly.

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #5 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 15:18:35 »

revc

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #6 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 15:42:41 »
Good point, soterion, if I'm allowed by God and his enlightened one to call attention to it.  I wonder what Festinger, et al., would have to say after reading some of what is posted on this site. Psychology has always fascinated me, as it tends to cross paths on occasion with some of my fields of academic study. 

RC

Offline 4WD

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #7 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 15:58:49 »
I ran across familiar information on intellectual dishonesty and the topic of data/evidence.  I may start a thread on these topics as being relevant to discussions such as occur here.  After reading through some thoughts on intellectual dishonesty I could not help being reminded of the OP of this thread.  Anyone with any familiarity with the topic just has to know exactly where much of the OP came from. 
I reject the notion of intellectual dishonesty in this OP.  The fundamental problem here is that once Total Depravity is an accepted doctrine, just about everything posted in the OP is a must.  With Total Depravity as a given, then so much of Scripture as it relates to soteriology must be turned on its head.  If Total Depravity is true, then divine illumination and other false doctrines are absolute requirements.  There is no way around it.  Get rid of the false doctrine of Total Depravity, then all those passages. turned inside out to support it. begin to make perfect sense when read straightforwardly.

Soteriology, when constrained to agree with Original Sin, is bad enough; when constrained to agree with Total Depravity the disastrous Calvinistic soteriology results.

The interesting aspect of divine illumination is that it is so easy to demonstrate that it is false.  You don't even have to go to God's word to show that it is false; you only have to pay attention to what goes on around you and with you.

Offline soterion

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #8 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 16:14:55 »
Psychology has always fascinated me, as it tends to cross paths on occasion with some of my fields of academic study. 

RC

Psychology is kinda like mathematics; it crosses paths with everything. ::rolling::

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #8 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 16:14:55 »

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #9 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 18:47:04 »
What you are describing could be a symptom of cognitive dissonance. When a person is experiencing this, it is easier to discount or discredit whatever evidence is creating the conflict with long held beliefs, rather than dealing with that evidence fairly and honestly.

Is this related to "confirmation bias"?

revc

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #10 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 19:18:42 »
Since I don't want to see RB's thread hi-jacked and veer from the topic I will ask to have my #4 reply and onward removed and perhaps moved when I start a thread on the topics brought up.

RC

Offline soterion

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #11 on: Tue May 14, 2019 - 23:43:57 »
Is this related to "confirmation bias"?

They can be found together. Cognitive dissonance can lead to confirmation bias.

Cognitive dissonance, being the conflict experienced within oneself when evidence contrary to what one believes is encountered, can lead to confirmation bias in order to get rid of the internal conflict. Confirmation bias can be evidenced either in cherry picking favorable evidence to the ignoring or discounting of any contrary evidence and in the misinterpretation of the contrary evidence. Such actions are taken only if a person does not want to deal with the contrary evidence objectively.

I believe we all experience cognitive dissonance concerning various issues at different times in our lives. The question is not that we may have held on to beliefs that may not be true. Rather, the question is, how did/do we handle evidence to the contrary? Do we ignore that contrary evidence and cling only to what we want to believe, or do we deal properly with that contrary evidence, finding out what that evidence actually says, and changing our beliefs if need be?

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #12 on: Wed May 15, 2019 - 04:20:59 »
I don't have any doubt that God's providence and care helps us mature in the Lord, but the primary way God teaches is through His word. Inspiration I believe in, but I don't believe there are any inspired men living. Paul wrote...

Ephesians 3:1-5  For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,  (2)  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:  (3)  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,  (4)  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)  (5)  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Notice, we learn and can understand what inspiration has revealed by reading.

I find that those claiming some special illumination all teach different things, and things contrary to what is written. Is God a God of confusion? I think not. Listen again to Paul...

2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Notice, he didn't tell Timothy to look for some special illumination, but said study the word of God.

I find that those claiming special illumination not only teach things contrary to what you can learn by reading God's word, but are haughty in doing so, thinking they are somehow illuminated while their listeners/readers are not.

Hear Paul again...

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Look at RB. He doesn't believe that. He believes that one is born again, then he can have a special illumination to have faith and so forth and so on. But the Bible plainly teaches faith comes by hearing, and when we obey what we've heard, then we're born again. Oh, but he has a special illumination.

Listen to Peter...

1 Peter 1:23-25  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  (24)  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  (25)  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Notice, the word of God is the seed that leads to the new birth. It was preached, people believe and obeyed, and then they were born again.

Again, providence I believe in, but special illuminations I do not.
« Last Edit: Wed May 15, 2019 - 04:50:30 by johntwayne »

Online Jaime

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #13 on: Wed May 15, 2019 - 05:52:26 »
Revc, it doesn’t look to me that the posts from #4 on are all that off topic. I say leave them in place, the discussion my be more productively on topic than you think. It’s extremely hard to keep any thread focused like a laser and with a topic like illumination  that might have different meanings to different people. Look at the many baptism threads for instance, they veer and swerve all over the place depending on people’s understanding of various scriptures.what seems to be off topic to one, may be spot on for someone else. In my view a lot of topics we get into are not narrow in scope and this seems to be one of them. I say let it run its course rather than micro managing it. To me some of the comments about cognitive bias are extremely good and relative to the topic. Another mod may differ and that’s fine.
« Last Edit: Wed May 15, 2019 - 07:08:03 by Jaime »

Offline 4WD

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #14 on: Wed May 15, 2019 - 05:55:01 »
Again, providence I believe in, but special illuminations I do not.
AMEN

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #15 on: Wed May 15, 2019 - 09:49:05 »
At that really summarizes the problem here.  I don't know anyone posting here that believes that.  No one here that I know of has ever said that we come to believe in God, believe in Jesus, or believe in the gospel without God's Spirit.  But just as you have read into the Scriptures your own misguided opinion of what God as said and what He means, it seems that you have also read into the posts here your own misguided opinion of what they have said and what they mean.  The question to be resolved is the means whereby understanding of all things theological come by way of the Holy Spirit.  That is a question that you have failed to resolve.

Because, when you begin with a false premise as you have obviously done here, there is little chance that you will end up with a true result.  This is well represented by the misappropriated Scripture:That passage has not one thing to do with divinely imparted knowledge; rather it is explicitly speaking of Jesus' healing of a man born physically blind (John 9:1).

All, or most, of the rest of what you have presented here is but one more aspect of your misguided opinion of what regeneration is.  It is not, as you propose, a cure to the unbiblical condition of total depravity.  I will leave it at that to see where this goes.

You beat me to it. Even though men on this forum disagree, there is no one I have seen who believes their knowledge comes apart from the Word of God which became Flesh. Red is simply wrong on this point.

It seems to me that the scriptures don't speak so much about special personal revelations from God, rather, that God does not hide their understanding. The scriptures are there for all to see. They have basically been the same for centuries. Peter believed and obeyed these scriptures and his understanding was not blocked. The Pharisees didn't believe what was written and didn't obey. Their understanding was darkened.

These scriptures were written for our admonition so we would not lust after disobedience, as they also lusted.

One honest look at modern religions practices show blatant disobedience to the Word of God. When Jesus pointed this same practice out to the Mainstream God of Abraham preachers of His time, they rejected Him out right, even though the scriptures clearly supported His position. 

Peter understood this truth perfectly.

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. 33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.

Jesus taught the same thing.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

It seems simple. Be a "doer" of God's instructions, not just a "hearer". But what if you are born into a land with religions all claiming to serve the God of Abraham, but transgress His Commandments by their own religious doctrines and traditions?  It's not so simple. The pressure against standing with the God of the Bible contrary to the religious practices of the land is heavy.

This is what Jesus was born into. And Peter, and Abraham, and Caleb and Daniel. And Jesus said we too, who come after Him must "take up our own cross" and "Endure" to the end of our life as He did with His. "Offences must come", but we don't have to partake in them. If men would just believe and trust enough to "do" what is instructed, their eyes would be opened as promised. As it is written; "Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts".

But most will not.

Jer. 6:16 Thus saith the LORD (Word of God which became Flesh), Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Therefore:

Rom. 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.






Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #16 on: Wed May 15, 2019 - 12:46:46 »
johntwayne  -

Your quote:  “Again, providence I believe in, but special illumination  I do not.”  This seems totally contradictory, for what is providence, if it isn’t to provide illumination to mankind that they would not have otherwise?

And you are certainly not the only one who interprets II Timothy 2:15 erroneously, as soterion also does above.  The word “STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God...” doesn’t refer specifically to READING the Word of God by serious study of the book.  The Greek word for “study” means to give earnest DILIGENCE and concerted effort to something.  To be zealously giving concentrated attention to a goal.  As the saints were also told to “STUDY to be quiet, and to do their own work”.   In other words, we are to give earnest heed to showing ourselves approved unto God, so that we need not be ashamed. 

I also see you are skipping over the MEANS by which reading and understanding those words is made beneficial to the reader in your Ephesians 3:1-5 text.  Those means are “BY REVELATION” in verse 3, and “BY THE SPIRIT” in verse 5.  The written words did not profit those during the “other ages” that had the prophets’ words offered to them, even to the “ends of the earth”. That is because it “WAS NOT *MADE KNOWN* UNTO THE SONS OF MEN” until the time when Paul said it “IS NOW REVEALED” to the apostles and prophets of his day.  The Spirit had to do the “revealing” and the “making known”.  These are influences outside of and beyond the ordinary ability to read and hear something written or spoken. 

As Proverbs 20:12 most plainly tells us, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.”  In the LXX, this is even more to the point.  “The ear hears, and the eye sees: even both of them are THE LORD’S WORK.”  This is the working activity of the LORD giving illumination from what is heard audibly and seen visibly.  It is not work that can be credited to us. 

The NT also gives testimony to the very same means by which we gain revelation of God’s written words.  Ephesians 1:17-19 is not just referring to the apostles and prophets receiving special illumination, but to the entire body of believing Christians as well.  “...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may GIVE UNTO YOU THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND REVELATION in the knowledge of Him: the EYES of your understanding BEING ENLIGHTENED...”.  This shows an outside power granting enlightenment to these Ephesian believers.  “...that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of HIS mighty power.”  Not according to OUR mighty power to be able to know and understand all these things.

Another text you brought up, johntwayne - the one in I Peter 1:23-25 - deserves some closer examination from the Greek as to which “WORD” is under discussion in that text.  As you know already, the “WORD OF GOD” can refer to the PERSON in the Trinity that John 1:1,14 names, which was made flesh in the incarnation.  In this case, the Greek term is “logos” .  Next, the written word passed down to us via literary forms uses the Greek “rhema” term.  Both of these are found in your I Peter 1:23-25 text. 

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed” (not by natural ethnic descent through the Jewish tribes), “but of incorruptible; by the WORD OF GOD” (here, it is the “logos” granting the rebirth process, which is the incorruptible Seed, the “Word of God” made incarnate), “which liveth and abideth forever” (because Jesus, the Word of God will never die again).  “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away” (our natural abilities of cognitive reasoning and our actual visual and hearing acuity will diminish during our senior years). “But the Word of the Lord endureth forever.”  (The “rhema” or written words will endure, being passed down to succeeding generations via the written and spoken words of the prophets and apostles). “And this is the word” (the “rhema”) which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 

You have also said that we should hear Paul’s words that we find in Romans 10:16-17.  “...For Esaias saith, Who hath believed our report?  So then faith cometh by hearing” (in the Interlinear, “faith cometh by the report”), “and hearing by the word of God.” (in the Interlinear, “But the report by the word of God” - the “rhematos” of God). 

You aren’t even considering the entirety of the immediate context with your interpretation here.  Paul states that the actual spoken words of the prophets went out to all those in ethnic Israel.  “Their SOUND went into all the earth” (Romans 10:18), so that their actual spoken words went even unto the ends of the world.  In spite of that proclamation of His words to Israel as a nation, God gave the ethnic Israelites in general a “spirit of slumber; eyes that they should NOT SEE, and ears that should NOT HEAR” - Romans 11:18.

God’s purpose in blinding the majority of Israel to their own prophecies was to MANIFEST Himself to the “foolish nation” of the Gentiles, who weren’t even seeking after Him to begin with (Romans 10:20).  Paul calls the number of believing ethnic Israelites a “remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 12:5).

If we as Christians boast of initiating our own faith to “believe the report” given of God’s Son, then we are guilty of what Paul was cautioning the Roman readers against in Romans 11:18.  “Boast not against the branches.”  (Those Gentile believers weren’t supposed to credit themselves with faith to believe God’s report, over the ethnic Israelites, who were blinded and did not exercise faith in that report.)   Like them, we are cautioned to “be not high-minded, but fear”, lest God should also give us blindness for presuming we achieve faith by our own efforts, and not by God “making manifest” His truth to us.

Your last sentence has some truth, but not quite with the intent you are giving it. 

Your quote: “Notice the word of God is the seed that leads to the new birth.”  ( As you say, very true; the “Logos” - the Seed which is Christ, the Word made incarnate - He truly is the person who leads us to the new birth.)

“It was preached” (Yes, as you say, the “Logos”, the Word incarnate, Jesus Christ and Him crucified, was preached by the apostles.)

Here is where you go off-track: “people believe and obeyed, and then” (you imply that it is AFTER believing and obeying) “they were born again.”  By comparison, you would have us believe that a child takes its first breath of life BEFORE it emerges from the birth canal and is born.  Definitely an upside-down concept, going against even the most basic knowledge of obstetrics. 

When once given life so that we are enabled to exercise that first breath of faith as a child of God, illumination for the saints is ALWAYS in the order of events that we find in Acts 16:14.  “And a certain woman named Lydia, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us,” (She heard with her ears the words Paul was speaking.) “WHOSE HEART THE LORD OPENED, THAT SHE ATTENDED unto the things that were spoken of Paul.” 

A believer who worships God hears an audible message (or reads it in print), and THEN the Lord works to open the understanding of the heart, so that we are enabled to diligently attend to instruction or wisdom we are given.  “For it is GOD THAT WORKETH IN YOU, BOTH *TO WILL AND TO DO* of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)

We can’t even consciously keep our own natural lungs breathing and our own heart beating while we are asleep.  If we can’t presume to have ultimate control over these natural, biological life signs, why on earth would we ever think of claiming credit for the even more vital life signs of our spiritual breath and our spiritual heart’s activity? 

As Paul said in II Cor. 4:7, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be OF GOD and NOT OF US.”

God, I thank you for all these good gifts, and for the gift of this forum where we can praise your name in public...


Online johntwayne

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #17 on: Wed May 15, 2019 - 16:44:21 »
The difference between providence and this illumination you guys are claiming is that one is God working through natural means and the other is a supernatural.

Most translations translate 2 Timothy 2:15 "study" because that is the clear idea in the verse. I'll take their word on it, rather than yours.

Yes, God made eyes and ears and He expects for us to use them, that's natural, much different than some supernatural illumination.

You are just simply wrong about Ephesians 1:17-19. Inspiration was a gift of the first century and God does not give it today. We learn by reading what inspired men wrote and learned through supernatural means.

Your also wrong about 1 Peter 1:23-25. The context determines when "logos" is talking about the Son of God and when it is talking about the word (written or spoken) of God. 1 Peter is clearly talking about the word (written or spoken) of God, not the WORD (the Son of God).

A living and intelligent person being born again is not equal to a baby in the womb. The word (written or spoken) of God can appeal to the sinner and cause him to believe and obey so that he is born again. Your illustration falls flat.

I don't deny that the Lord opened Lydia's heart, but how did He do it? By supernatural means or natural means. Paul preached to her and she believed. Natural means.

2 Corinthians 4:7 is referring to the apostles, not to us.
« Last Edit: Thu May 16, 2019 - 07:28:58 by johntwayne »

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #18 on: Thu May 16, 2019 - 04:57:55 »
The difference between providence and this illumination you guys are claiming is that one is God working through natural means and the other is a supernatural.
I will allow 3 Resurrections answer his own post, but will start mine today with these words~We make no claims outside of the word of God, which I shall prove using the testimony of God himself.
Quote from: soterion Reply #2 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 07:10:07
It was not man that revealed to the apostles that Jesus is the Christ, but rather it was God through the aforementioned witnesses that the apostles came to this understanding.
Which you mentioned:
Quote from: soterion Reply #2 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 07:10:07
John the Baptist, His works, the Father (Jesus' words), and the Scriptures
Any way you try to slice it or dice it, bottom line the Spirit of God must give the person a spiritual revelation of the truth.

I trust that we shall prove that scriptural knowledge and illumination is needed in order to have a true understanding of the gospel of the grace of God. This knowledge is given by God and it not solely obtained through natural means that operate by their own power. While it is true that God often makes use of natural means, yet the medium is not what causes the effect of seeing, hearing and understanding but is by the drawing of the Spirit of God, per Christ in John chapter six.
Quote from: JESUS CHRIST
John 6:36-45~"But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."
The only people that truly comes to Christ are the ones chosen to come, they are the ONLY ones that is taught inwardly by the Spirit of God, those not taught are the one that..........
Quote from: John chapter 6
murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves
God may teach us many things through nature and reason, and even use the words of scriptures to convey a doctrine or proposition, but only God can illumine them is such a way wherein we see the beauty and excellency.  Those who are unregenerate have no capacity to love what is spiritual and are not partly but wholly dependent on God to translate them from the kingdom of darkness where they reside, to the kingdom of light where ONLY truth is known and loved.
Quote from: revc Reply #3 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 08:22:45
The OP, interpreted, says “My name is Red Baker, I possess divine illumination and insight into the scriptures.  The way I see the scriptures, based only on my understanding of the KJV, which is the only word of God (to the English speaking world, at least), is the sole truth in religious matters, and no facts that are at odds with my views are in reality facts but are the wisdom of men, who are obviously not enlightened or else they would agree precisely with every pronouncement of mine.” 
Divine illumination is for every child of God, especially so for those that seek it, be whoever they may be, and sometimes it comes from a very unlikely source~but most of the time it comes from God-gifted men and women, and men for the most part as both scriptures and history has proved that to be so. God's truth comes through prayer, fasting, and a love for it. Just as some demons are only cast out through fasting and prayer, so is God's truth understood. God rewards those that love the truth and seek after truth from him. Truth is NOT limited to a person, sect, etc. it is for ALL that seek after it, and ONLY those who have been regenerated by the Spirit are truth seekers.
Quote from: revc Reply #3 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 08:22:45
Does that sound like there is any possibility in the mind of RB that he stands the remotest chance of being wrong?
I have been converted a few times over in my Christian walk. So did Peter BTW~and he like all of us will....die without been fully converted, which this scripture makes me know this to be true:
Quote from: Peter
2nd Peter 3:16~"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."
To what degree Peter understood Paul's writings is not made known to us, yet he did struggle somewhat as it is apparent by reading this scripture.
Quote from: revc Reply #3 on: Mon May 13, 2019 - 08:22:45
What happens when two people claiming divine illumination do not agree?  This was brought up before, but not answered.  Does one of the enlightened question the enlightenment of the other?  Is it possible for the Spirit to give one of these enlightened persons erroneous understanding?  How does one enlightened, who is in error, get to know he is in error?  Seems there are quite a few questions that need answering.  But, does the person claiming divine illumination need even stoop to the level of answering questions about his illumination?  Does anyone even dare question the enlightened?  Are those of us that wonder about the enlightened have the right to ask questions, or are we to take it at face value that everyone who claims such is to be listened to and cannot err regarding the scriptures?
In Galatians 2 we see two great apostles who disagree and one rebuked the other, and they BOTH at times wrote under the inspiration of God, at which times THEY WERE INFALLIBLE, yet were just men of faith at other times subject to errors! Men possessing the Spirit of God since post the death of the apostles are JUST MEN, subject to errors, and are learning just like we all are~divine illumination and being filled with the Spirit does not means one is infallible, not even close. We all live in a body of SIN and death, and being sinners saved by grace does not mean that we are free from errors, it just means that we have the POWER to understand the truth, not much more than that. 

Later....RB

 
« Last Edit: Thu May 16, 2019 - 14:35:55 by RB »

Offline 4WD

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #19 on: Thu May 16, 2019 - 08:11:58 »
Men possessing the Spirit of God since post the death of the apostles are JUST MEN, subject to errors, and are learning just like we all are~divine illumination and being filled with the Spirit does not means one is infallible, not even close. We all live in a body of SIN and death, and being sinners saved by grace does not mean that we are free from errors, it just means that we have the POWER to understand the truth, not much more than that. 
The confusion here is quite similar to the confusion that resides in the RCC concerning the Pope speaking "from the chair".  However, the confusion expressed here is, once again, due to a false doctrine of regeneration, made necessary by a false doctrine of Total Depravity. 

Speaking about John 6:36-45 you said:
Quote from: RB
The only people that truly comes to Christ are the ones chosen to come, they are the ONLY ones that is taught inwardly by the Spirit of God, those not taught are the one that..........
But there is nothing in that passage that says anything about the ones chosen to come to Christ.  You have read into that passage your false concept of regeneration that simply is not there.

Verse 45 explains the verse 44. It does not say that those who are drawn to God will hear and learn.  Rather it says that those who have heard and learned will come, i.e., are drawn, to God.  It is through the teaching of his Word and everyone that "has heard and learned" are drawn to God.

And that is part and parcel to Paul's teaching in Romans 10:

For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?"  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. 

Just as Jesus said in John 6:45, those who hear will believe and those who believe will call on His name.  Hearing doesn't come by believing, i.e., having faith.  Rather faith, i.e., believing, comes by hearing.

This is also precisely as Peter taught in his first sermon at Pentecost.  To those who heard what Peter said and believed what Peter said, he told them to "repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ"  Why? To receive forgiveness of their sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; that is, for justification and regeneration.  They first heard and believed then they repented and were baptized.  It is then that they received forgiveness of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #20 on: Thu May 16, 2019 - 12:11:50 »
If I may presume to think out loud some, I would like to just jot down a few thoughts for consideration.  As I am at work, I hope my thoughts turn out as clearly as they originate. If someone wonders about anything in particular just ask me. Since I claim no divine revelation from God I am always willing to review my own writings. 

In no particular order,

A.  Let us first state that knowledge is belief that is true.  Knowledge is the absence of false belief.  You do not truly know something if you are wrong. Knowledge must be justified, hence it is not founded in the subject, but in some object.  In this thread, the object is taken to be the word of God, the scriptures.  A portion of knowledge is a belief that is true at all times.  A belief that is not knowledge is a belief that is not true somehow or at some point.  We must note that this is not based on the reality of the object at all.  This seems to lead us to the question – what is the foundation for lack of knowledge, or certainty (we are not dealing with the obvious facts of age or total unfamiliarity here, but only with the lack of knowledge within the concept of divine illumination)?  In the case of this discussion, there are at least 3 possible factors that could lend themselves to uncertainty, 1)  the source of illumination, which in this case is the Holy Spirit, 2) the enlightenment/revelation itself, and 3) the subject of illumination.  If one who claims to be enlightened is found to be wrong at any point along the way, it is due to some shortcoming in one of these factors.  The Holy Spirit has done something or allowed something to happen that causes error, or the revelation is somehow not adequate to result in actual knowledge, or the subject (the one claiming enlightenment) is somehow deficient.

B.  A belief cannot be knowledge if there is even a risk of the belief being false.  This should be obvious.  Even those who claim divine illumination renounce infallibility, thus, they also, at some time, are renouncing certitude and knowledge in their own beliefs.  It is not wrong to conclude then those claiming divine illumination cannot be certain of any of their beliefs, which would include the belief in divine illumination.

C.  We can also consider the notion of mutability.  I mentioned 3 bases of uncertainty a bit ago.  On this forum I will assume it is admitted that the object of knowledge is immutable.  I will proceed on the assumption that readers of this discussion concur, and that we may state that the word of God is objective and unchanging.  What cause, then, is there for a change in beliefs, or as it has been termed, “conversion?”  Does the Holy Spirit change?  I will assume a negative response.  That leaves only change in the illumination/revelation, or change in the subject to account for a change in belief.  If the illumination/revelation changes, then it is not immutable and is thus not objective and absolute.  It is possible for it to be false at some point.  This is a logical consequence of admitting that one’s “knowledge” is open to modification or abandonment.  That leaves the subject himself. If the subject is mutable, how can the belief system it is a part of be immutable?  Even by admission, those who espouse divine illumination state that their own belief system is not immutable.  Their “faith” is basically a contingent thing based on their own mutability. That implies that their faith is relative and subjective.  Can it be relied on not to change?  No.  Do they actually know the truth?  They have beliefs.  But are these beliefs absolute truth?  They even admit to fallibility.  This is not a concern for those who do not claim revelations and enlightenment from God, but, to those who claim Spirit-given insights it is a problem.  How so?   The object claims that one can know the truth, but those who espouse divine illumination must deny this as they must admit that their “knowledge” of the truth is not a certainty and is open to change.  Thus, those claiming divine enlightenment are found to be diminishing the reliability of the object. 

It seems more likely that the proponents of divine illumination and revelation are mistaken, something they even grant is a possibility. They admit that their position is that even divine illumination cannot ensure that they are right.  They admit that they are at risk of being in error.  How is it, then, that such people presume to speak with such confidence?  Their very own admissions propose that their beliefs are contingent and liable to change. 

“But,” says, the enlightened one, “some revelations are immutable and even a mutable subject such as myself cannot alter or err regarding them.”  There is no chance of some things in the proposition’s sphere ever changing. This belief they must hold if they hope to have any mental assent that their beliefs are worth holding.  They are forced to believe that the vast majority of their beliefs are immutable, at least for the time being. 

D.  A belief comes from somewhere.  It is obvious that beliefs can be produced.  Where do they come from?  They do not produce themselves.  They are not produced from nothing.  We are told in the OP that “The only means or instrument, which the Holy Spirit employs, is the written Word.” But we are also told,  “Divine illumination is for every child of God, especially so for those that seek it, be whoever they may be, and sometimes it comes from a very unlikely source~but most of the time it comes from God-gifted men and women, and men for the most part as both scriptures and history has proved that to be so. God's truth comes through prayer, fasting, and a love for it. JUst as some demons are only cast out through fasting and prayer, so is God truth understood. God rewards those that love the truth and seek after truth from him.”(sic) We found that illumination comes, “under the guidance of the Spirit.” It surely is safe to conclude that the Spirit is the cause of beliefs based in the scriptures, according to the enlightened, is it not?  If the Spirit is the guide and at least some of the beliefs the enlightened are guided into are mutable and fallible, who is the cause of fallible or false beliefs in the enlightened?  It must be the Holy Spirit.  But, what possible reason would there be for the Spirit to guide one into false beliefs?  How gifted are these “God-gifted” men and women through whom come illuminations “most of the time” if they are merely producing contingent and mutable beliefs?  (emphasis mine, RC)

E.  Truth, in any assessment of an object, requires a match between asserted knowledge and the object.  Does it not?  To have actual knowledge there can be no deviation between the object and the supposed knowledge or it is not real knowledge.  There can be no knowledge, or certitude, where something inconsistent with the alleged knowledge exists.  This leads me to consider the very notion of the object of knowledge.  If the object is not agreed upon by all then it is highly improbable that any “knowledge” can be agreed upon by all.  The originator of this thread may speak of the object being the word of God, but he sets limits on the object that are unreasonable and open to variation.  This would effect the very nature of divine illumination, and I have pointed this problem out elsewhere in this forum.  For example, I started a thread some time ago (Wed Sep 12, 2018) regarding various world languages and Acts 2:38.  What we saw there was informative regarding the notion that God inspired His words in the languages of various peoples around the globe.  What are we to do if the object itself (the word of God) elsewhere is at variance with what we want to believe is the object given to us?  This is a monumental problem for the divine illumination idea.  Is it rational to believe that God has different objects and enlightens people based on the differing objects?  Who would affirm that?  So, in an attempt to clarify the object, at least in English, I have often resorted to the manuscripts used by the translators of the only object the originator of this thread will allow as a source.  The translation is sometimes inadequate as are the postulations of the opponent of using the Greek (or Hebrew). It is beyond absurd to limit the object to just what one wishes were the only object, while ignoring all other objects available. 

What then of resources available regarding the object?  We were told regarding divine illumination, that, “most of the time it comes from God-gifted men and women.”  Really? Then why are the men that labor in linguistics to aid understanding of the word of God refused as part of those through whom this illumination comes?  Why is any data that contradicts the contingent understanding of the enlightened derided as wisdom of men and some kind of graven image?  It seems more like the divine illumination assertion is some kind of snake oil applied to the conscience of those who want to believe what they want to believe despite any evidence to the contrary, even if that evidence is the object of God’s word in another language.

That’s enough for now.  Lunch is over and business beckons.

RC

 

Offline soterion

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #21 on: Thu May 16, 2019 - 16:20:25 »
Any way you try to slice it or dice it, bottom line the Spirit of God must give the person a spiritual revelation of the truth.

Of course, that spiritual revelation is the word of God...the scriptures.

Quote
I trust that we shall prove that scriptural knowledge and illumination is needed in order to have a true understanding of the gospel of the grace of God. This knowledge is given by God and it not solely obtained through natural means that operate by their own power. While it is true that God often makes use of natural means, yet the medium is not what causes the effect of seeing, hearing and understanding but is by the drawing of the Spirit of God, per Christ in John chapter six.

That illumination from the Spirit is the purpose of the Spirit inspired scriptures. The scriptures provide that illumination. Without the word of God, we would not have that information, that illumination into the will of God. The gospel message, based on the truth found in the scriptures concerning Jesus Christ, is how God draws men to Him. All who hear and believe are drawn to God.

Quote
Those who are unregenerate have no capacity to love what is spiritual and are not partly but wholly dependent on God to translate them from the kingdom of darkness where they reside, to the kingdom of light where ONLY truth is known and loved.

This is true for every person. All are wholly dependent on God to translate them/us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.

Quote
Divine illumination is for every child of God, especially so for those that seek it, be whoever they may be, and sometimes it comes from a very unlikely source~but most of the time it comes from God-gifted men and women

It always comes from other people, if by divine illumination you are referring to conversion to Christ in the heart. Not only does the word of God have to be the basis of the message taught unto conversion, but conversion also has to involve a person or persons giving the message.

I would suggest that God went so far as to send His Son to us as a man to hear His word, that the Son in turn commissioned other men to go out and preach God's word and to commission others down the line, etc., with the intention that evangelism is always human to human (Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 16:15-16). God became a man, gave His word to others, who in turn preached to others, who in turn preach to others, etc. (Romans 10:13-17). This human to human interface is, to me, the only means for divine illumination, particularly unto conversion.

Quote
In Galatians 2 we see two great apostles who disagree and one rebuked the other, and they BOTH at times wrote under the inspiration of God, at which times THEY WERE INFALLIBLE, yet were just men of faith at other times subject to errors! Men possessing the Spirit of God since post the death of the apostles are JUST MEN, subject to errors, and are learning just like we all are~divine illumination and being filled with the Spirit does not means one is infallible, not even close. We all live in a body of SIN and death, and being sinners saved by grace does not mean that we are free from errors, it just means that we have the POWER to understand the truth, not much more than that. 

Later....RB

This misses the point. The point being made is that two people claiming their teaching/message is from inspiration of the Spirit, cannot be correct if their teachings conflict one another. The Holy Spirit is not going to inspire, illumine, enlighten, whatever you want to call it, two conflicting teachings to two different people.

Offline Gerhard Ebersöhn

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #22 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 01:26:47 »
It's all about what use you make of it. I am afraid there also might be another legalism or two, three, We are saved by (my / our) faith. That's a more dangerous one than any except for, Love saves. The ultimate legalism though, is, The Holy Spirit (in me).

Offline Gerhard Ebersöhn

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #23 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 01:43:16 »
Quote
4WD: #7
If Total Depravity is true, then divine illumination and other false doctrines are absolute requirements.  There is no way around it.

If Total Depravity is true, then divine illumination is an absolute requirement, otherwise, how is Total Depravity going to be overcome than by divine illumination = grace = God's free decision?  There is no way around it.

Offline RB

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #24 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 04:33:04 »
Of course, that spiritual revelation is the word of God...the scriptures.

That illumination from the Spirit is the purpose of the Spirit inspired scriptures. The scriptures provide that illumination. Without the word of God, we would not have that information, that illumination into the will of God. The gospel message, based on the truth found in the scriptures concerning Jesus Christ, is how God draws men to Him. All who hear and believe are drawn to God.
Soterion, you are not hearing what I'm saying, because you do not desire to hear it~I said this that would basically sum up and refute your only point in your post:
Quote from: RB  Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 04:57:55
While it is true that God often makes use of natural means, yet the medium is not what causes the effect of seeing, hearing and understanding but is by the drawing of the Spirit of God, per Christ in John chapter six.
This proven by many scriptures that shall be given in due time. For a starter in Romans 3:10-18 Paul proves that both Jews and Gentiles have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, he goes into details to describe their natural state from the first Adam~ALL are without knowledge and they by nature do not even seek after spiritual knowledge and truly even despises such as they count their own knowledge superior to any so-called God which they do not believe in and can not believe in UNLESS God shows mercy to them...and it is a biblical truth that he does not show mercy to all, and not even to most equally, which even nature teaches us this. is so.
Quote from: soterion Reply #21 on: Yesterday at 16:20:25
I would suggest that God went so far as to send His Son to us as a man to hear His word, that the Son in turn commissioned other men to go out and preach God's word and to commission others down the line, etc., with the intention that evangelism is always human to human (Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 16:15-16). God became a man, gave His word to others, who in turn preached to others, who in turn preach to others, etc. (Romans 10:13-17). This human to a human interface is, to me, the only means for divine illumination, particularly unto conversion.
Again this is so as far as conversion to the truth goes, but conversion and regeneration are two separate doctrines taught in the scriptures. God alone regenerates solely by himself, he uses the foolishness of preaching to save them THAT BELEIVE...1st Corinthians 1:21~1st Corinthians 1:21 and Romans 1:16 are saying the same truth, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to all others it is foolishness. Romans 1:17 is a commentary on verse 16:
Quote from: Paul
Romans 1:16,17~"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God ONLY to believers and the righteousness in that gospel can ONLY be revealed FROM faith TO faith~or, from a person who believes to another person who believes! You CANNOT reveal God's righteousness that he has provided for his elect to an UNBELIEVER, impossible, sir!  

So, yes God has chosen the foolishness of such preaching to be a source of information for BELIEVERS whom he has regenerated by his power to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, conversion to the truth is one doctrine, regeneration by the Spirit is totally different, one MUST proceed the other before the word of God can be effective in the life of the hearer, or else he will reject and even despise what he hears, thinking it is below his wisdom and reputation among the earthly so-called wise to accept something BY FAITH alone.
Quote
This misses the point. The point being made is that two people claiming their teaching/message is from inspiration of the Spirit, cannot be correct if their teachings conflict one another. The Holy Spirit is not going to inspire, illumine, enlighten, whatever you want to call it, two conflicting teachings to two different people.
You are missing the point~NO ONE is claiming infallibility, but ONLY that truth is a gift of illumination on certain biblical truths and that illumination are given to some and not to ALL to the same degree.
Quote from: Paul
1st Corinthians 14:29-32~"Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets."
Soterion no one is claiming 
Quote from: soterion above
inspiration of the Spirit
ONLY illumination on certain biblical truth and NO ONE person has all truth, but God has given to his many of his children a little hear and a little there, to make us humble and dependent on each other. Whatever truth one sees, he spends his life tweeting that truth to make it more scriptural than when he first begin to see it and understand it~this especially true of eschatology. 
« Last Edit: Sat May 18, 2019 - 03:47:14 by RB »

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #25 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 04:45:51 »
If Total Depravity is true, then divine illumination is an absolute requirement, otherwise, how is Total Depravity going to be overcome than by divine illumination = grace = God's free decision?  There is no way around it.
The word of God is ONE cohesive WHOLE and all doctrines are tied together. Without question, man is not just depraved, but totally~per Isaiah....
Quote from: Isaiah
Isaiah 1:5,6~"Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.."
Pretty well describes the man in his fallen state.

So, yes, divine illumination is absolutely imperative before the light can enter into man's dark soul, where darkness reigns under the prince of darkness and over all of his followers. 

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #26 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 06:50:42 »
Some implications and assertions of the doctrine of divine illumination as the doctrine has been affirmed so far (if anyone wants to add more to the list, feel free to do so) -

1)  Divine illumination is compatible with falsehood and error on the same topic.
2)  Divine illumination is not the same as knowledge/certitude/cognition.
3)  Divine illumination allows room for improvement, alteration, or abandonment of prior belief.
4)  Divine illumination does not remove error.
5)  Divine illumination does not extend to all biblical truths, only certain truths.
6)  Since “knowledge” of truth is liable to alteration, improvement, or abandonment over the course of a lifetime, it is not really possible for divine illumination to produce real knowledge.


RC

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #27 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 07:16:14 »
At least one problem has arisen throughout this topic from beginning to end.  That problem is there is no established agreement on the biblical definition of terms.  When RB speaks of regeneration, he does not mean the same thing as when I or soterion speak of regeneration.  When soterion speaks of illumination, he is not using it in the same way as when RB speaks of illumination.  And just now RB has introduced the term conversion.  I know from past discussions that he doesn't mean the same thing as I so when he talks about conversion.  I suppose that it is not really all that surprising that such disparate meanings are attached to these words. Neither the noun illumination nor the verb illumine is even to be found in the NT.  The noun conversion is found only once so far as I can find and that is Acts 15:3.  The verb convert and the noun convert is found in some translations but not all.  And the noun regeneration appears only in Titus 3:5 in most translations and then also in Matthew 19:28 in some translations where it refers not to the individual; but rather. to the coming kingdom or the coming new world at Jesus return. The verb regenerate is not found anywhere in the NT.

None of these words are to be found in the OT for most translations in the sense that they are being discussed here.  So then any discussion using these words is unlikely to lead anywhere.  A meaningful discussion can be had only when an agreement on the biblical definition is reached.  And that doesn't seem likely.

In a sense, RB, attempted to define what he meant by the term illumination in the OP, but frankly it wasn't well done or seems at least somewhat biblically inconsistent throughout.
« Last Edit: Fri May 17, 2019 - 07:23:47 by 4WD »

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #28 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 08:20:59 »
Quote from: 4WD
At least one problem has arisen throughout this topic from beginning to end.  That problem is there is no established agreement on the biblical definition of terms.  When RB speaks of regeneration, he does not mean the same thing as when I or soterion speak of regeneration.  When soterion speaks of illumination, he is not using it in the same way as when RB speaks of illumination.  And just now RB has introduced the term conversion.  I know from past discussions that he doesn't mean the same thing as I so when he talks about conversion.  I suppose that it is not really all that surprising that such disparate meanings are attached to these words. Neither the noun illumination nor the verb illumine is even to be found in the NT.  The noun conversion is found only once so far as I can find and that is Acts 15:3.  The verb convert and the noun convert is found in some translations but not all.  And the noun regeneration appears only in Titus 3:5 in most translations and then also in Matthew 19:28 in some translations where it refers not to the individual; but rather. to the coming kingdom or the coming new world at Jesus return. The verb regenerate is not found anywhere in the NT.

None of these words are to be found in the OT for most translations in the sense that they are being discussed here.  So then any discussion using these words is unlikely to lead anywhere.  A meaningful discussion can be had only when an agreement on the biblical definition is reached.  And that doesn't seem likely.

In a sense, RB, attempted to define what he meant by the term illumination in the OP, but frankly it wasn't well done or seems at least somewhat biblically inconsistent throughout.

I was just thinking about this very thing as I run back and forth in the shop.  The OP is very deficient in defining terms.  I have noticed that many definitions and concepts RB uses are of his own making and are completely absent from the NT.  This led me to wonder a few things-

1) Can one grasp truth without understanding language?
2) Can one grasp truth without understanding the meaning of terms?
3) Can divine illumination transgress the laws of thought?
4) Can divine illumination transgress the definition of terms?
5) Does divine illumination, as it is held here, imply that the revelation of God is undefined and therefore not understandable?
6) Does divine illumination use the normal definition of words to arrive at truth?
7) If divine illumination is brought about through normal definition of terms why cannot those same terms be grasped by the unregenerate?

The example of "conversion" is a perfect example and I was inclined to inquire earlier today about the definition of the term used, as say in Acts 3:19.  "μετανοησατε ουν και επιστρεψατε..." Why would the Holy Spirit use επιστρεψατε and then assign a meaning and concept to the term found nowhere in Greek writings?  The reason for the repentance and conversion is clearly stated to be εις το εξαλειφθηναι υμων τας αμαρτιας.    It is very clear that RB does not base some of his "understanding" on actual definition of terms, even in English, but on what he wants the words to mean.  This would seem to lend itself to the idea (if RB is one of the enlightened) that divine illumination ignores the normal definition of words that were originally used and give different meaning to them found nowhere in the language.  Since this whole idea of divine illumination goes as far back as Greek philosophy, from Aristotle onward, it would seem citing some source as to what is meant would have been the place to start. 

But, my questions above would still need answering.

RC

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #29 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 09:02:34 »
Without singling out RB specifically, the discussions on this board, or in the realm of theology generally, run head on into the problem of definition of terms.  I consider so much of what Calvinism or Reformed Theology gets wrong begins with the inappropriate definition and meaning of biblical words, terms or phrases. Consider a word like foreknowledge.  It has a perfectly good meaning in both the Greek πρόγνωσις [prognōsis] and the English and that is knowledge of something before it exists or happens;i.e., know ahead of time.  But if you read in the Calvinist literature it becomes almost always to mean predetermine or to pre-establish.  So much of the critical words or phrases in Calvinist theology, specifically soteriology, become a technical jargon, usually quite apart from that as it appears in Scripture.
« Last Edit: Fri May 17, 2019 - 09:05:21 by 4WD »

Online NorrinRadd

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #30 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 15:47:47 »
The difference between providence and this illumination you guys are claiming is that one is God working through natural means and the other is a supernatural.

Most translations translate 2 Timothy 2:15 "study" because that is the clear idea in the verse. I'll take their word on it, rather than yours.

Yes, God made eyes and ears and He expects for us to use them, that's natural, much different than some supernatural illumination.

You are just simply wrong about Ephesians 1:17-19. Inspiration was a gift of the first century and God does not give it today. We learn by reading what inspired men wrote and learned through supernatural means.

Your also wrong about 1 Peter 1:23-25. The context determines when "logos" is talking about the Son of God and when it is talking about the word (written or spoken) of God. 1 Peter is clearly talking about the word (written or spoken) of God, not the WORD (the Son of God).

A living and intelligent person being born again is not equal to a baby in the womb. The word (written or spoken) of God can appeal to the sinner and cause him to believe and obey so that he is born again. Your illustration falls flat.

I don't deny that the Lord opened Lydia's heart, but how did He do it? By supernatural means or natural means. Paul preached to her and she believed. Natural means.

2 Corinthians 4:7 is referring to the apostles, not to us.

I'm mostly in agreement with your position in this debate.  However, it is simply not true that "most" translations render "spoudazo" as "study" in 2 Tim. 2:15.  Most render it along the lines of "Be diligent" or "Make every effort."

In context, one could understand the passage to be a warning against... um... what we're doing right now.   rofl

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #31 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 15:52:49 »
At least one problem has arisen throughout this topic from beginning to end.  That problem is there is no established agreement on the biblical definition of terms.  ...
  So then any discussion using these words is unlikely to lead anywhere.  A meaningful discussion can be had only when an agreement on the biblical definition is reached.  And that doesn't seem likely.


Agreed. ::shrug::  ::frown::

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #32 on: Fri May 17, 2019 - 17:14:37 »
Without singling out RB specifically, the discussions on this board, or in the realm of theology generally, run head on into the problem of definition of terms.  I consider so much of what Calvinism or Reformed Theology gets wrong begins with the inappropriate definition and meaning of biblical words, terms or phrases. Consider a word like foreknowledge.  It has a perfectly good meaning in both the Greek πρόγνωσις [prognōsis] and the English and that is knowledge of something before it exists or happens;i.e., know ahead of time.  But if you read in the Calvinist literature it becomes almost always to mean predetermine or to pre-establish.  So much of the critical words or phrases in Calvinist theology, specifically soteriology, become a technical jargon, usually quite apart from that as it appears in Scripture.

I agree. And it is an age old problem with religious men. For instance The Mainstream God of Abraham preachers of Christ's time did not define the word "enemy" properly. They didn't realize their true enemy was in their mind, and not the nations surrounding them. So given their understanding of enemy was wrong, the doctrines built around being saved from their enemy was corrupted as well. So when their Savior came, they didn't recognize Him in part because He did nothing to impede or influence the power of the Romans, who they had been deceived into believing was their enemy.

And God let them believe it.





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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #33 on: Sat May 18, 2019 - 04:49:38 »
I agree. And it is an age old problem with religious men. For instance The Mainstream God of Abraham preachers of Christ's time did not define the word "enemy" properly. They didn't realize their true enemy was in their mind, and not the nations surrounding them. So given their understanding of enemy was wrong, the doctrines built around being saved from their enemy was corrupted as well. So when their Savior came, they didn't recognize Him in part because He did nothing to impede or influence the power of the Romans, who they had been deceived into believing was their enemy.And God let them believe it.
Redhighlight is mine for discussion purposes.

GB, you keep talking about religious men which we all are in one sense, whether or not you desire to accept that title, it applies to you as well as all the rest of the people in this earth who worship in some form or another. Now, among the religious people of this earth, only a remnant has the truth, and the rest are left to themselves just as you said above, but probably for a different reason than I believe~since I hold to double predestination and you believe in neither.

Now my question to you sir is this:
Quote from: Paul
1st Corinthians 4:7~"For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"
Base upon the word of God, which is God's testimony to us of TRUTH..... WHO has made a difference among true believers and religious men who have no true light in them? Or, the small remnant of believers in contrast with multitudes on the broad road to destruction? Based on the testimony of God himself, HE MAKES THE DIFFERENCES AMONG MEN. God did not even give us a choice on most things that concerns us......who our parents were, where we were going to be born, and our bodily features were not discussed with us, as a matter of fact, we were not asked if we wanted to be born, God made that choice for ALL OF US and many, many more! There are many spiritual truths concerning us that we had NO CHOICE IN, God did that for us. The main one is that we were given to Jesus Christ to redeem, and to bring us unto eternal glory with him losing NOT ONE of us. Those given to Jesus Christ, God in due times quickens each one to LIFE by his power, based upon the redemptive work of Christ for them.  Not ONE child of God brought himself into the fold of the sheep of God, NOT ONE, we were sought out and brought to Christ by the Spirit of God, or Jesus' Father. The power of God quickening our dead spirit to life in Jesus Christ giving to us the POWER TO SEE, HEAR, and UNDERSTAND spiritual truths, that are not given to all, but only to chosen of God., and even among the chosen all have different degrees of light, again according to the will of God, base upon the spirit that each one of his children possess. Even among my own children, some are more industrious than others, harder workers than their siblings, etc.
Quote from: JESUS CHRIST
Matthew 16:13-17~"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."
THe ONLY reason that men like Peter believed and others were confused concerning who Christ truly was, is that Peter's faith was GIVEN FREELY TO HIM, while others did not receive the same blessing that Peter was given.
Quote from: JESUS CHRIST
Matthew 11:25-27~"At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."
There's Jesus' doctrine that God reveals truth to some (generally babes, that is, men who are NOT among the world's great men, great in power, and earthly wisdom~ but to babes, men of low esteem, as consider by the same people who consider themselves too wise and great to believe in the foolishness of religious doctrine, worship) and not to all. That is what we mean when we speak of illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God~ to see and embrace the teachings of the word of God, and reject the foolishness of this worlds means to happiness and true prosperity.

We mean NO MORE than this. MAtthew 11:25-27~ sums up exactly what we are saying, nothing more, nothing less, but precisely what Jesus said in these words recorded for all to read concerning what he taught during the days of his flesh on this earth.

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Re: illumination of the understanding by the Spirit of God
« Reply #34 on: Sat May 18, 2019 - 05:22:43 »
I consider so much of what Calvinism or Reformed Theology gets wrong begins with the inappropriate definition and meaning of biblical words, terms or phrases. Consider a word like foreknowledge.  It has a perfectly good meaning in both the Greek πρόγνωσις [prognōsis] and the English and that is knowledge of something before it exists or happens;i.e., know ahead of time.  But if you read in the Calvinist literature it becomes almost always to mean predetermine or to pre-establish.  So much of the critical words or phrases in Calvinist theology, specifically soteriology, become a technical jargon, usually quite apart from that as it appears in Scripture.
Brother, this is not so.

First, let me say that the scriptures are the ONLY interpreter of its use of words, NOT Webster, etc. Example: Bread, is not use always use as the liquid substance that we eat, as you know it is used for CHRIST in John 6, etc. the list we could give is long~ so, bottom line, we allow the scriptures to determine the use of its own words and generally that is done in the context in which it is used. 

Foreknowledge can be used in BOTH senses.
Quote from: Peter
1st Peter 1:2~"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."
Here it is used in that is knowledge of something before it exists or happens; i.e., know ahead of time~God elected a people and gave them to Jesus Christ to redeem based on his foreknowledge of KNOWING AHEAD OF TIME that unless he secured an elect seed then NONE would be saved on their own! Now, that is much diferent than what you believe when you think of God's foreknowledge~you believe that he looked down through time and SAW who would believe and THEN based upon that chose them!  Now, that's so wrong and there are some serious ramifications connected with that understanding, which would take us off course, so we forbear at the moment, maybe later.

Sometimes "foreknew" does carry with it a meaning of loving a person before an event ~Romans 8:29; etc.

So, we allow the scriptures to interpret its own use of words. Does Israel always mean the natural seed of Abraham? Of course not.
Quote from: 4WD on: Yesterday at 09:02:34
So much of the critical words or phrases in Calvinist theology, specifically soteriology, become a technical jargon
First of all, I'm not a Calvinist, even though I love them and respect many of them. Also, the world could say the same about our religion when they read such things as:
Quote from: JESUS CHRIST
John 6:53,54~Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
We have no problem understanding what our Lord meant when he uttered those words, now do we?