John 12:32 Does Jesus draw all to Himself?

John 12:32 Does Jesus draw all to Himself?

John 12:32 Draw all men to Myself on The Giving blog by Cheryl Schatz

Does Jesus draw all men to Himself?

In John 12:32 Jesus says that He will draw all men to Himself.

John 12:32 (NASB) “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

Are all people drawn to Jesus? We know for sure that not all people come to Jesus because we know that not all will believe in Him. However, Jesus said that He will draw ALL men to Himself. So what does Jesus mean in this context? Let’s look at His words to understand His meaning.

In John 12:27 states the purpose He came is for this hour so although He is troubled He will not ask to be saved from this hour.

John 12:27 (NASB) “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

Jesus is speaking to a crowd of unbelievers (see verse 37) and in verse 30 Jesus says that the voice from heaven was for the benefit of this unbelieving crowd.

John 12:30 (NASB) Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.

John 12:37 (NASB) But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him.

Jesus said that He came for this hour. Jesus came to die, yet so many of those who heard Him speak did not believe. They weren’t just unbelieving Jesus, but they did not believe God. Some say that their unbelief was what God predestined for them from all of eternity past. But there is a problem with this view because of the words of Jesus. Jesus speaks about drawing all, not just some. If God did not desire for all to come to faith, then Jesus would never draw all. John 12:32 is a dividing line between truth and error, but to some, it doesn’t make sense because it doesn’t seem to be true.

Jesus says that IF He is lifted up from the earth (verse 33 shows this is His death on the cross) that He WILL draw ALL men to Himself.

One Way – Two Drawing Together

Jesus-Father circle on The Giving blog by Cheryl Schatz

Was Jesus crucified on the cross? Yes! Then the condition is met.

YET….

No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him. And… no one can come to the Father except through Jesus.

John 6:44 (NASB) “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 14:6 (NASB) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

If Jesus is the source of people coming to the Father (God), then Jesus’ statement must mean that He will draw people to Himself as God. For Jesus IS God and a belief in God must precede a belief in Jesus. While the condition is met for Jesus to draw all people, there still exists a condition for those who will respond to the drawing.

The Two Conditions

Hebrews 11:6 (NASB) And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Jesus is God’s revelation in the flesh. But the one who is able to respond to the drawing of Jesus to God must believe two things. The person must:

  1. Believe that God IS – that God exists.
  2. Believe that God responds to those who seek Him.

There it is. Jesus draws people to God, and those who will hear and respond and believe the revelation of God will be allowed to come to the Father. And those who believe the Father’s revelation about Jesus, will be allowed to come to Jesus. It is all about faith in the amount of revelation that one has been given. Those who have been given revelation about God, but who refuse to believe that revelation they are given will never come to Jesus. Jesus made it clear that those who refused to believe the Father’s word through Moses cannot believe in the words of life from Jesus.

John 5:46–47 (NASB)
46 “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.
47 “But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Is Jesus drawing all men to Himself? We have to believe that He is doing that unless we believe that He was a liar. Do all men come to Jesus? The Scripture says that they do not. So what witness was Jesus giving?

The Cross reveals Jesus as the I AM

By His death and resurrection, and His inheriting all things, Jesus has the power and authority to have His will be done. It is all in the hands of Jesus as the I AM.

Matthew 11:27 (NASB) “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

This is Jesus:

Romans 1:19 (NASB) because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

Jesus made it evident to them. The pagans in the third world have been drawn to God by Jesus as He has revealed the nature of God to them. He promised to draw ALL men to Him. I believe that, and I believe Him. Do you?

67 thoughts on “John 12:32 Does Jesus draw all to Himself?

  1. Thanks, as always! I hadn’t looked at it that way. Sadly, a lot of people looking for God end up trapped in groups like JW’s, where the REAL Jesus is kept hidden from them.

    Calvinism, on the other hand, gives the CLOSEST COUNTERFEIT. It gives the Jesus who is God, manifest in the flesh, virgin born, and who rose, physically from the dead. Unfortunately this Jesus only died to save so many and no more. This unholy doctrine has slithered its way into the church because, foundationally, we agree. Jesus is GOD. The matter of WHO He came to save is the crux. ALL or few.

    The JW Jesus can’t save. The Calvinist Christ won’t. Or at least, not everyone the Bible says He wants to save.

  2. Well, I was really looking forward to this post, but I found the answer to be somewhat surface-level reasoning. Not to harp on you, Cheryl, because I know you’ve been very busy! Here are some possible issues that may be brought up about this passage:

    1) the word “all” (in “all” honesty…ha) really doesn’t always mean “all” in Scripture, and
    Calvinists will say that the mention of Gentiles previously in the context will say that
    “all” means Jews and Gentiles (not each and every individual.)

    2) If God’s plan to reach the Third World people is to show them He exits and that He
    has power via nature… then hasn’t that plan seemed a little inadequate, since the
    majority of people through the centuries don’t acknowledge God? (This seems to
    illustrate how necessarily essential supernatural intervention in the human mind must
    be?)

    3) It sounds as if you’re saying that a prerequisite to being drawn by Jesus is to
    acknowledge God-exists-via-creation first, so how does that adequately explain
    that Jesus promised that “every individual” would, in fact, be drawn to HIM? The
    only condition, as you pointed out, was fulfilled – that is, Jesus was lifted up.
    Therefore, whether one acknowledges God-via-creation or not, all should still be
    drawn to Jesus HIMSELF. This would imply a direct knowledge about who Jesus is
    and what He did for us – and 100% of the world’s population does not get this info.

    So…. I’m still at a loss for understanding how all are drawn to Jesus. Hope you understand what I mean. Thanks for your consideration.

  3. Robin,
    It is so good to see you thinking this one through. Let’s start with your first point.

    1) Actually “all” does mean “all” in the Scripture. I think you mean that it can mean something other than every single human being. That is true. But “all” means “all” of a category. The primary meaning is the individual components, every.

    John 12:32 All

    What category is Jesus talking about? If Jesus is talking about all Jews and Gentiles, then that is everyone for there is no other category. There is no option for the word to men only some of the category. For example, if the passage were talking about all of the crowd, then it means all of the category (the crowd). It wouldn’t mean all of the world. But in this context it cannot mean a subcategory of mankind as there is no subcategory mentioned. I do believe that He meant “all” as in all Jews and Gentiles because that means all people without exception.

    Secondly, it would not be like Jesus who gets all of His words from the Father to be imprecise. If He actually meant that He would draw some Gentiles and some Jews then He would have spoken precisely. In fact just a few chapters later, Jesus said that He would let His followers know what isn’t true.

    John 14:2 (NASB) “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

    Jesus said that if it were not so, He WOULD HAVE told them. Jesus is not interested in being misunderstood or being imprecise. He would have told us what He meant.

    Thirdly, the fact that the Gentiles had ALREADY started to come Jesus was a sign that they were being drawn to Jesus. So Jesus’ statement makes no sense that Gentiles would only be drawn to Him if He died.

    Let’s hash this one out before we go on to the other points. I believe that everything you have to say is worth answering and considering.

  4. Robin,

    So my challenge back to you is to show why you believe that Jesus meant only “some” Jews and only “some” Gentiles when He chose the word “all”. Couldn’t Jesus have just said what He meant if He was going to draw only “some”?

  5. gilliansnotebook,

    I think you have a good question as well.

    I believe Jesus when He said that He spoke the words that His Father gave to Him. The Father said what He means. Since He knows all things, He would have know that using the term “all” would mean people would believe Jesus would draw all human beings to Him. Because the Father does not deceive people, He would have used the term “some” or equivalent if He meant “some” of the Jews and “some” of the Gentiles.

    It may be a hard passage to understand, but I do not understand why the words of Jesus are not seen as meaning “all”. There is no limiting factor in the passage to remove the importance of the term “all”.

  6. I do wish this site had a edit button. Anywho, as far as the DRAWING, Jesus does want ALL to come to repentence (2 Peter 3:9) but not everyone who is offered Christ’s salvation will respond favorably. Ideally, when movies come out, the movie’s producers, not to mention the theater owners would love every member of a city’s population to see said movie. Ka-CHING! But not everyone will want to see said movie, even if everyone had the money to go to the movies.

    Of course salvation is eternally better than a movie, but Jesus will not drag anyone, kicking and screaming, into heaven. The rich young ruler had a choice; Jesus or riches? The invite is on the table for all (John 4:42, 1Tim 2:4-6, 2 Cor 5:12-15, 1 John 4:14) Romans 2:11 and 1Tim 5:21 talks about the sin of partiality. How could God tell angels and humanity NOT to play favors if He, himself is that very thing?

  7. Robin,

    In your second point you said:

    2) If God’s plan to reach the Third World people is to show them He exits and that He has power via nature… then hasn’t that plan seemed a little inadequate, since the majority of people through the centuries don’t acknowledge God? (This seems to illustrate how necessarily essential supernatural intervention in the human mind must
    be?)

    Robin, I encourage you to trust what the Scripture says without putting it through a Calvinist pair of eye glasses.

    First of all if Jesus said that He would draw all to Him, it doesn’t mean that we have to understand fully how He can do that, but to just believe Him and take Him at His word. Let’s look at Romans 10:13-18 for confirmation.

    Romans 10:13–15 (NASB)
    13 for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
    14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
    15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

    In these verses, God says that it is those who call on the name of the LORD who will be saved. He doesn’t say that it is the ones who are pre-chosen that will be saved. The next verses (14, 15) show that faith will ultimately come down to the sending of the messengers. Who is the one who sends? Is it not God Himself? Is not God ultimately responsible as Lord of the harvest to send out the laborers?

    Then in Romans 10:16-18 Isaiah is quoted as asking who has believed their report?

    Romans 10:16–18 (NASB)
    16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?”
    17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
    18 But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD.”

    Who has believed their report? It can’t be said that they have never heard the word of Christ since verse 18 says they HAVE heard and their voice has gone out into ALL the earth! Then look at the next few verses:

    Romans 10:19–21 (NASB)
    19 But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, “I WILL MAKE YOU JEALOUS BY THAT WHICH IS NOT A NATION, BY A NATION WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING WILL I ANGER YOU.”
    20 And Isaiah is very bold and says, “I WAS FOUND BY THOSE WHO DID NOT SEEK ME, I BECAME MANIFEST TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ASK FOR ME.”
    21 But as for Israel He says, “ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.”

    Here the LORD is said to be found by those who were not seeking Him. He manifested Himself to those who did not ask for Him. And as for Israel He draws them by saying that all day long He stretched out His hands to the disobedient and obstinate people.

    He has promised to draw all, even those who have never heard of Him and even those tho have heard of Him but who are disobedient. I believe that eternity will show us the amazing ways that He drew the lost, yet they turned their backs on the revelation that He gave them.

    Do I believe Jesus when He said that He would draw all to Himself? Yes, I do and I encourage you to accept His words first and then seek to understand. Do not say that He has failed to do as He said. Believe Him and wait for the evidence in eternity. The failure of men to believe is not His failure. God is not limited by our sin or by our unbelief.

  8. Robin, on your third point you said:

    It sounds as if you’re saying that a prerequisite to being drawn by Jesus is to acknowledge God-exists-via-creation first, so how does that adequately explain
    that Jesus promised that “every individual” would, in fact, be drawn to HIM?

    No, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that in order for one to come to God that one must FIRST believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. I did not say that in order to be drawn by Jesus one must first acknowledge these two things. Do you see the difference?

    You also said:

    The only condition, as you pointed out, was fulfilled – that is, Jesus was lifted up. Therefore, whether one acknowledges God-via-creation or not, all should still be
    drawn to Jesus HIMSELF. This would imply a direct knowledge about who Jesus is and what He did for us – and 100% of the world’s population does not get this info.

    No! I would imply a direct revelation of God who is Jesus. In order to come to God, one needs to believe 2 things about Him. That is what the Scripture says and I accept it without having to deny any part of what He said. And in order to come to Jesus one needs to believe God the Father and what He said about Jesus. One leads to another when each revelation is revealed and believed. But the revelation of Jesus is not the only way that people are drawn to Jesus. They are first drawn to Him as God!! It has to happen in this order, because God said so. The fact is that the majority of the people in the third world, and in our western civilization to not come to Jesus. They refuse the revelation that they have been given.

    And, those who are willing to hear can still hear the gospel preached even if they have never heard of Jesus before. Revelation 14:6 says that the gospel is proclaimed by an angel. Today there are many who have given a witness that they were in an area where they had no gospel, but they had visions and dreams of Jesus and have come to a true faith in Him. We may not understand this because we have the gospel so readily available here, but it appears that from the Scriptures God will send out messengers of one kind or another to those who will respond to Him in faith. I think we will be amazed in eternity at the ways that He was able to get the gospel into places where it seemed to be completely closed to the good news.

    The bottom line here seems to be, will we accept the testimony of the Father that He gave to Jesus to say? Will Jesus draw all men to Him? Whether you can or cannot understand how this will be done, I hope that all who read these words will say that the testimony of the Father and the testimony of Jesus is true. He WILL draw all men to Himself.

  9. gilliansnotebook,

    I added an edit comment plugin that will allow a commenter to edit their comments for a short time. Hopefully it works on my blog. Let me know if it works for you.

  10. Thanks, Cheryl! You didn’t have to but so glad you did. Otherwise, I’d end up making a hundred posts.

    Dear woman, you are SO brave to tackle the whole religion of Calvinism. It’s TRAGIC that people even want to believe the idea that Christ came to save only a segment of humanity.

    I think I’ve mentioned, before, I’ve gotten into arguements with five point Calvinists on the issue of what they would term LIMITED ATONEMENT. I think I even YELLED in ALL CAPS, at Tom McGovern when he said that 2 Peter 3:9 only applied to the ‘ELECT’. I said, “SO, IT DOESN’T MATTER TO YOU THAT YOUR BEST FRIEND OR PARENTS OR BROTHER OR SISTER, OR ALL OF THEM MIGHT NOT BE GOING TO HEAVEN BECAUSE GOD DECIDED THEY WOULD NOT BE AMONG THE ‘ELECT’ ?!?!?!?!” I mean I had a Cow and a calf!

    So, I need to ask Robin about 1 Tim 2:4-6, John 4:42, Romans 2:11, 1 Tim 5:21, 1 John 4:14 . If Jesus only intended to save so many, doesn’t it bother you? No one has free will. God decides who He’s going to save and the rest of humanity can go to hell. Literally. Does that sound like a God you want to believe in?

    I may have asked this before, and I apologize if I’m repeating myself, but it all comes down to the NATURE of GOD. Calvinists are fond of saying ‘God is SOVEREIGN’. So? Hitler was ‘SOVEREIGN’ in Germany. He had the power to murder millions of people just because he didn’t like them. He had the power to close businesses of Jewish business owners and arrest people for no reason. That’s Power. That’s authority. And we see that the nature of the man governs his actions.

    1 John 4:7,8 says God is LOVE. Well, pardon me if you’re NOT a Dave Hunt ‘fan’, Robin, but “What LOVE IS THIS?” What kind of LOVE condemns the larger segment of humanity to eternal damnation without giving them a choice to decide whether or not to accept the offer of salvation?

  11. Good point, Brad. God can hardly judge those he pre-determined NOT to save. That would have been HIS choice. To judge those who don’t have a choice to accept or refuse the offer of salvation is WRONG.

  12. Hello, Cheryl (and Gillian and Brad). What a great iron sharpens iron discussion. Yesterday, I read Mark 12:26 and was reminded that Jesus hinged his whole argument with the Sadducees on the mere tense of a verb. Thus, words in Scripture are extremely important, as you pointed out, and even a little word like “all” deserves attention.

    Let’s use the definition you provided: “in totality with focus on its individual components.” If the definition is applied to “all who take the sword will perish by it,” we would interpret it as “the totality of individual persons who take up swords will (each) perish by them.” Of course, that can’t be a true statement. However, it is true that “some” of the people who take up swords will perish by them.

    If the John 12 passage refers to the categories of Jews and Gentiles, does it then follow that every individual of the Jews and Gentiles will be drawn? I’m not bringing our other beliefs in here – I’m just scrutinizing whether this particular verse, standing on its own two feet, MAY properly be interpreted to mean a “subset” of individuals (i.e. some) of Jews and Gentiles will be drawn?

    As to the question, why didn’t Jesus just use the word “some” instead of all, I would think that if the context goes something like 1) Jews welcome Jesus with “Hosanna” 2) a group of Gentiles wish to see Jesus 3) Jesus says now is the time He will be glorified 4) Jesus states He will draw “all” – that Jesus COULD BE referring to the fact that all people groups will be drawn. To simplify, we’ve got: Jews, Gentiles, Glory, and “All are drawn.” It’s at least plausible in my thinking, because of the context, that Jesus could be speaking of “peoples.” This seems consistent enough with the Abrahamic covenant in which all nations are blessed, to Psalm 2, “Ask of Me and I will give the nations…” to “go make disciples of all nations,” right on through history to Rev. 5:9,10 when “all tribes, peoples, tongues and nations” are represented in heaven. In other words, God often speaks about salvation in terms of groups and nations.

    Just seeking to rightly interpret this particular verse of John 12:32, trying my best to see all points of view, and to approach it as unbiased as possible. No easy task!

  13. Hi Robin;

    The problem with looking at Salvation from a CALVINIST perspective at all is just as dangerous as looking at the deity of Christ with a Watchtower perspective. Your spiritual sight is warbled.

    Jesus invited the rich young ruler to follow Him, but the man just walked away; choosing worldly goods over God’s salvation. You’ll notice Jesus didn’t grab this guy by the shirt collar and say, “You’re one of the ELECT and you’re going to be saved whether you want to or not!” This man had a choice. But choices have consequences.

    I’ve asked before but I think it bears repeating; If you put exclusions to God’s invite to salvation, then how do you know if you’re saved or excluded? Or what if God chose to EXCLUDE you?

    2 Cor 11:3 says, “But I’m afraid for you, children, for just as Eve was deceived by the craftiness of the enemy, so your minds might be lead away from the simplicity that is in Christ. ….” Simplicity has been translated as purity and devotion, but I like the word that suggests that the Gospel of Christ can be understood, in plainest language, by a pre-schooler.

    Q: Do you believe in the verse WHOSOEVER WILL MAY COME….? Or John 3:16,17

    WILL is the key word. “If anyone wills to do His will…” Again, there’s a choice to be made and GOD offers the choice.

    Likewise, when Jesus said WORLD, He meant every citizen of the world. Then, now and in the future. Of course, believers have to share that love and GOOD NEWS but in doing so, we don’t discriminate. ALL are just as entitled to receive this good news as we were.

    And NO ONE knew this better than the Apostle Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus) . He called himself the chiefest of sinners and will forever be grateful that God saved him, on the road to Damascus rather than just zap him on the spot, which He could have done; given all Saul had done to His people up that point. God gave Saul the choice; Saul could harden his heart to any entreaty and warning of soon judgement, or stop the killing and follow Him. Under the circumstances, it was a pretty easy choice. But I think Paul would look back on that day, for the rest of his life, amazed that he was even given the choice.

  14. Some say that “draw” equals “actually arriving.” This would seem to negate the “coming.” I note that “draw” and “come” are two different words with two different spellings and two different definitions…even in English…this is also related to John 6 because of the link of the word “draw…”

  15. Robin,
    I agree that iron sharpening iron is a good thing. I have learned from people who were solidly against me in other areas when they showed me something that I had missed. When I listened to what they had to say, it helped me clear up some loose string and surprisingly made my argument even stronger. I believe that body of Christ needs each one as God has not given any one of us all of His gifts. We are meant to minister to one another and to learn from one another.

    I agree that the tense of a verb is very important and should not be missed. We want to make sure that we understand what the author is saying, and not try to fit it into our own little box. Robin, you said that Jesus could not have meant “all” in Matthew 26:52 because it wasn’t true.

    Let’s use the definition you provided: “in totality with focus on its individual components.” If the definition is applied to “all who take the sword will perish by it,” we would interpret it as “the totality of individual persons who take up swords will (each) perish by them.” Of course, that can’t be a true statement. However, it is true that “some” of the people who take up swords will perish by them.

    I don’t agree. Jesus’ words are always true and He spoke the truth or else explained when His words had a spiritual meaning and were being misunderstood. When Jesus said “all” in Matthew 26:52, He meant all.

    Matthew 26:52 (NASB) Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.

    Jesus is not talking about those who just wield the sword. He is using an idiom that has a specific meaning. “To take the sword” is used for rashly usurping magisterial power instead of giving obedience and subjection to God.

    Take the sword Matthew 26:52 on The Giving Blog by Cheryl Schatz

    Are all those who refuse to give obedience and subjection to God, but take their own vengeance into their own hands – will all of these be killed with the sword? Jesus said they would and He gave a second witness. The testimony of Jesus is given in the book of Revelation.

    Revelation 13:10 (NASB) If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

    His testimony is that God’s justice will bring an eye for an eye and the saints can count on that. Also in Revelation 19:15 He is said to be the one who measures out the wrath of God and the sharp sword is mentioned as the way He accomplishes God’s wrath.

    Revelation 19:15 (NASB) From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

    Revelation 1:16 (NASB) In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

    Do I believe that Jesus meant “all” in Matthew 26:52? Yes, I believe He meant exactly what He said. I believe He meant “all” and the perishing is the judgment that He will do in the future. All judgment is given for Him to accomplish as He is the Son of man and the sword from His mouth is how He will slay the wicked.

    I like how Paul said it in Romans when he was responding to those who were accusing God of not being faithful to His own words.

    Romans 3:4 (NASB) May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.”

    Robin, if you have biblical evidence for Matthew 26:52 that Jesus said “all” but the Father really meant just “some”, I would be very interested to read your reasoning. Until I am convinced from the Scriptures, I stand on Matthew 26:52 and John 12:32 that all means all.

  16. Brad,
    You said:

    Some say that “draw” equals “actually arriving.” This would seem to negate the “coming.” I note that “draw” and “come” are two different words with two different spellings and two different definitions…even in English…this is also related to John 6 because of the link of the word “draw…”

    Exactly! That is how I see it too.

  17. The father was handing the Jews over to Jesus. They didn’t believe in Jesus. Jesus was trying to convince them of who He was, the Messiah. Previously Jews were drawn to the father by the Law of Moses, which they didn’t do very well at keeping. Now Jesus is saying you are still drawn to the father, but it will be through me not the Mosaic Law. It has nothing to do with a calvinistic view of predestination. And they will be drawn to Him through His Holy Spirit now.

  18. Jasen, welcome to The Giving blog.

    I do think you are conflating the giving of people to Jesus and the drawing of people to Jesus. People who are GIVEN TO Jesus believe in the Father. People who are DRAWN to Jesus are not necessarily believers.

  19. Hi Cheryl. I see this post hasn’t been commented on for a while but it caught my attention. I have been debating some Calvinists on-line quite a bit lately – and in particular, the statements of Jesus in John 6. The point that I have made in that regard, is that the ones that the Father gave Jesus were the Jews who were believers prior to the cross. As individuals who physically existed (in that particular setting) it can be said that the care of them was passed from the Father to Jesus. In John 6, Jesus said He would lose none of them. In John 17 (recap of his ministry) He said He lost none – except for Judas.

    I mentioned to someone on a site that this type of “the Father drawing individuals” is a unique event and has ended. In that sense, the Father is no longer drawing anyone. The fact that Jesus arrived meant that the “looking-ahead-to-His-coming” type of drawing is now redundant for obvious reasons – He has come! In my estimation, the phrase “the ones the Father gave me” merely means that these ones were given to Jesus to care for during the time of His earthly ministry.

    The parallel of this passage with John 12:32 that often arises, is a different issue. The temporary individual-specific drawing of John 6:44 is about being a faithful Jew with right motivation for following Jesus – not following him to get free food. The universal, corporate drawing of Jesus in 12:32 is more about a universal atonement and is not individual-specific. Basically, if examined carefully, the passage infers that it is the crucifixion that draws all of mankind.

    I mentioned to one fellow that the verse is NOT saying, “When I have been lifted up from the cross at that time – that is the time that I will start to irresistibly draw people to myself”. Rather, He was referring to the universality of the fact that no one will be excluded any longer – all due to the ramifications of what the atonement means for all of mankind. All Gentiles are included as well.

    I am most interested in your thoughts re what I say about the temporary nature of the “Father’s drawing”. In my careful thinking about this, I came to realize that all my Christian life, I read this through a Calvinistic lens – taking this verse as a universal, absolute teaching of Jesus to the church. Now I have come to see it much differently.

    Blessings!

  20. Peter, welcome!

    You wrote:

    The point that I have made in that regard, is that the ones that the Father gave Jesus were the Jews who were believers prior to the cross.

    I would add that the ones given to Jesus were all believers in the Father, whether they were Jews or Gentiles. Cornelius would be an example. He was a God-fearing Gentile. By being given to Jesus, they were given a revelation of the Father about His Son, thus they were brought to faith in the Son by the God that they have trusted in. Cornelius did not know about Jesus or have faith in Him until he was given the gospel. He easily believed because he was already a believer in the Father. It appears that Cornelius was not given to Jesus until after the death of Jesus as he did not believe in Jesus while Jesus was alive. However, the disciples were given to Jesus and none of them were lost except for Judas. I have a link for John 6:39 below:

    https://mmoutreach.org/tg/fathers-will/

    You wrote:

    In John 6, Jesus said He would lose none of them.

    There is a change of grammar from John 6:37 to John 6:39. One is present tense with a continued giving and the other is a past tense. Only the verse with the past tense has Jesus saying He will lose none of them. The present tense (verse 37) shows that the one who comes (present tense – continues to come) will not be cast out and will be raised up (verse 40). It is important that John 6:37 is in the present tense with the action in process or a state of being with no assessment of the action’s completion. This implies continued faith and continued giving. The past tense involves a giving that has ended.

    In John 17 Jesus is specifically and only talking about His disciples. The giving that is past tense is the giving of a specific group of individuals who believed. Judas did not put his faith in Jesus.

    I would love to continue dialog. If you look at the categories pull down on this blog, you can look at what I have written for each verse or each section.

    You wrote:

    The universal, corporate drawing of Jesus in 12:32 is more about a universal atonement and is not individual-specific.

    Correct. It is universal.

    You wrote:

    I am most interested in your thoughts re what I say about the temporary nature of the “Father’s drawing”. In my careful thinking about this, I came to realize that all my Christian life, I read this through a Calvinistic lens – taking this verse as a universal, absolute teaching of Jesus to the church.

    The nature of the drawing of Jesus is universal while the drawing of the Father is specific. The question would be did the specific drawing of the Father end at the cross? If a person in a pagan nation without access to the Word of God receives revelation about Jesus would that be the drawing of the Father? There are multiple witnesses of visions and dreams being given to those of the Muslim faith in which they see a revelation of Jesus and they have come to faith in Him. They have the general revelation of God that is given to all, but they are also given a specific revelation about the Saviour. Who is the One who is revealing Jesus to them? What are your thoughts on this?

  21. Thanks for the reply Cheryl! A few thoughts:

    //I would add that the ones given to Jesus were all believers in the Father, whether they were Jews or Gentiles. Cornelius would be an example//

    I agree that Gentiles could have been given to Jesus – at least the ones that were alive when he was alive. I am not sure Cornelius could be said to have been given to Jesus – unless he came to faith prior to the arrival of Jesus – in such a way that it could be said that he was under the Father’s care at that time. I guess my point is that this idea of giving was a “physical handing over for care” type of thing. I don’t think there is a need to spiritualize anything beyond that.

    Re what you say about verse 37 // It is important that John 6:37 is in the present tense with the action in process or a state of being with no assessment of the action’s completion.// I think this is an interesting point. But it is noteworthy to notice that everything that is happening here is happening while Jesus is on the earth. “He has come down from heaven to do the Father’s will”. Doing His will and ministry took place on earth. So that in itself infers an end to the process of “coming” in the text – as well as “giving”. Everything that Jesus is said to be doing here can be said to be directed at specific people – with specific things being done to only them.

    At least that is what the observation of the text tells us. From there we can interpret and then make application for us today. When I started looking at it more carefully, I realized how much I have been conditioned to look at it through the Calvinism lens.

    For the record, I am NOT saying that all believers will not “be raised up on the last day”. These pre-cross believers are included as a subset of all who will be raised up. I just think it is necessary to make all these distinctions because reading the passage in its context (together with John 17) defeats the notion of the Calvinist “drawing”.

    Re your question about pagan nations being “drawn” by the Father, I am not really sure. Certainly, they would have the general revelation that creation provides – but is that the same as the drawing of the Father as per John 6? Perhaps, and perhaps it is overly pedantic to argue otherwise, but it seems like the John 6 drawing is particular to the Jews in view there – and that drawing is in direct relation to the fact that they “heard and learned” as per verse 45 (which would be from the OT scriptures and from John the Baptist said). So there is a direct connection between “drawing” and “coming” it seems. Drawing is about people coming and being rightly motivated in their coming. I am not sure it is about some special, mystical wooing. As far as the ones you mention, if pressed, I would likely point to the Holy Spirit for any notion of “drawing” – but that’s just my opinion.

    Interestingly, in the setting, if we consider the words being spoken by Jesus as having literal meanings – we can understand that “coming” has a notion of *physically* coming to Jesus for the purpose of following him and attempting to be his disciple. It is easy for us to read our 21st C. “come to Jesus moment” mindset into the passage. So this is an interesting exercise in dissecting this passage. Looking at it in that way, helps to make the words more that-setting-focused – and not a universal theological teaching by Jesus. That doesn’t mean we can’t make application for our day, but we should do the correct observation in order to get to the correct place. In any case, if we *do* allow ourselves to accept that Jesus is talking about people physically coming to Him while He walked the earth, this further locates the “drawing” as a feature that is focused on that time primarily. And don’t forget something said first had to make sense to the original hearer. Those Israelites would not have had any concept of a spiritual “coming”.

    Thanks again Cheryl. It was interesting to peruse your website. I seem to go after the same culprits that you do. I am fairly outspoken against the contemplative prayer movement and also against NAR. I live in Kelowna and attended a NAR church here for 18 years (an elder for 3 of those years) – so I am very familiar with it.

  22. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your comments. You said:

    I guess my point is that this idea of giving was a “physical handing over for care” type of thing. I don’t think there is a need to spiritualize anything beyond that.

    I would be interested in your view of the timing of Jesus’ comments in John 6. Jesus said in John 6:37 about a continued giving (present tense) and He also speaks of the future “will come to Me”. In the light of the context of John 6 where “many” of Jesus’ disciples left Him and no longer walked with Him because of His hard saying in this chapter who are the ones who will come to Jesus who are physically given into His care after the exodus of the disciples who followed Him in chapter 6?

    I will wait for your answer before I comment more.

    It is nice to see others who are interested in apologetics. There are so many teachings that have come into the church unawares that have caused great harm to many.

  23. Re the timing of 6:37, I feel like there is a continued giving in view – but it has an expiry date. Given that the “ones that the Father gives me” is a distinct group that existed only at that time and the “giving” is only for the duration of Jesus’ earthly ministry, it can be determined that this is a unique situation for a specific time. So, while there is future aspect in the text, that only applies to the original hearers and their future is our past. If I am correct as it relates to the subjects (as specific people existing at that time) those who “will come to him” can only be those who come to him while He is still alive – therefore revealing a temporary situation. Remember, in verse 38 we see that there is a will (ministry) that occurs during this temporary time of him being on earth..

    As far as your last question, I would suggest that those who “will come to him” are simply those who he anticipates encountering in other places other than Caperneum. I think the penny will drop as it regards this passage (and John 17) when it is first established who these ones are that the Father gave Jesus. Once it is realized that Jesus is not speaking about a class of people who span all of history, many of the pieces fall into place. If you read these verses (37-39) carefully, you will see that there are things in each verse that link to the other verses that reveal a setting that is focused on that time.

    This passage in John 6 is near the start of his ministry – whereas John 17 is kind of the recap at the end and there he provides an encapsulation and report of how things have gone. He lost none of them except for Judas.

  24. Here’s an interesting question that might help: In verse 37 Jesus says that “anyone comes to me I will never drive away”. If this applies across time – thereby inferring a future-ness to the meaning of the passage, are you able to envision a scenario whereby Jesus is “driving people away” in our current time?

  25. Peter,

    Thank you for responding. You said:

    This passage in John 6 is near the start of his ministry – whereas John 17 is kind of the recap at the end and there he provides an encapsulation and report of how things have gone. He lost none of them except for Judas.

    In John 17:9-19, Jesus is speaking only of the disciples who have been given to Jesus by the Father. Jesus said that He was with “them” and He guarded them, and not one of them (the disciples) perished except for Judas so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. Jesus also says in verse 20 that He is not praying for just “these alone” (the disciples) but also for those who believe (present tense) because of their word. Jesus has not had physical care of these ones who believed because of the preaching of the disciples.

    Can we agree on this?

    Here is a second point that we can maybe agree on. In John 6:37 Jesus speaks of a future giving of people who do not yet know Him. Can we agree that the giving of people to Jesus spoken of in John 6 is not a “giving” that is from eternity past? That it is not a giving of people who are no believers and not a giving of people who have been unconditionally hand chosen for salvation from eternity past?

  26. Peter, in your last comment you said:

    Here’s an interesting question that might help: In verse 37 Jesus says that “anyone comes to me I will never drive away”. If this applies across time – thereby inferring a future-ness to the meaning of the passage, are you able to envision a scenario whereby Jesus is “driving people away” in our current time?

    Jesus’ words reflect Matthew 7:23 where in the end times Jesus will command the unbeliever to depart from Him. However in John 6:37, Jesus used the aorist tense which in this instance does not indicate time. Rather, Jesus is talking about an assurance that He emphasizes with the double negative. Jesus said that the one who continues to come to Him, (continues to place his faith in Jesus) will NEVER (NASB certainly not is a double negative) be cast out. Jesus is not referring to the ones who will be cast out but the ones who will never be cast out. There is no view of Jesus casting people out in our time that I can see from John 6.

    Does this help?

  27. Hi Cheryl, thanks for responding. Here are answers to your specific questions:

    //He is not praying for just “these alone” (the disciples) but also for those who believe (present tense) because of their word. Jesus has not had physical care of these ones who believed because of the preaching of the disciples.//

    I agree that in John 17, Jesus *may* not have care over those second generation believers – but that isn’t ruled out by the text. If He is still alive when they also begin to follow Him, it seems that He would be caring for them as well. I would just say that they are not the primary subjects in view in the prayer. They are *included* in the prayer – but in verse 20 Jesus is again talking about the “ones the Father gave him” as a specific, identifiable group of existing people. In verse 26, he says that “I made your name know to them” so that is a past tense action – which identifies the ones verse 24 as again being existing believers.

    //In John 6:37 Jesus speaks of a future giving of people who do not yet know Him. Can we agree that the giving of people to Jesus spoken of in John 6 is not a “giving” that is from eternity past? //

    That is a good question. I would not be that quick to say that this “future giving of people” extends beyond the lifetime of Jesus. That is my main point – and one where I may have confused you. I absolutely agree that no one was given to Jesus from eternity past. So, in maintaining that the giving is an action limited to the time period of Jesus’ ministry, it rules out any notion of a metaphysical/spiritual giving. My premise is that if we read the text in this way (and I think it is the right way) it completely disallows the Calvinist way of reading it – which has determined how most non-Calvinists read it as well. The giving was a specific, earthly act that took place for 3 years. So in verse 37, it is not implausible to read it as (paraphrasing): “Everything that the Father gives me (in the next 3 years) will come to me, and anyone who comes to me (in the next 3 years) I will never drive away”. As I mentioned in a previous comment this “driving away” helps to locate the “giving” in the first part of the phrase as a then-specific occasion. There is no reason to consider that the Father is giving anyone to Jesus today. To concede that to the Calvinists opens the door to acknowledging that the Father *does* give ones to Jesus – and gives way to the notion of irresistible grace and unconditional election. If we isolate the giving to a *then only* event, it upsets their apple cart. Which is not to say that is what should motivate our hermeneutics – just that the careful reading grants clarity of truth and the by-product is that it defeats their view.

    One thing that points toward a limited setting, is seen in verse 38. The will of the Father is seen as an event which had a set time frame. It was done while Jesus was on earth. IOW that will was done after being “sent down from heaven” and “done by the one who sent Him”. In verse 39, we see what the “will” is. It is losing none of the pre-existing, believing Jews – those who are said to to be “the ones that were given to Him”.

    //Jesus’ words reflect Matthew 7:23 where in the end times Jesus will command the unbeliever to depart from Him. However in John 6:37, Jesus used the aorist tense which in this instance does not indicate time…Jesus is not referring to the ones who will be cast out but the ones who will never be cast out. There is no view of Jesus casting people out in our time that I can see from John 6.//

    That is an interesting observation – and one I hadn’t considered. I haven’t looked at the original language to see if “casting out” is the same thing as “driving away”. If it is, your point is certainly weighty. My only observation is that, *in the context of John 6*, Jesus *is* driving away people *at that time* (and this notion is substantiated by the fact that many left him). So, if “driving away” can be said to a physical, earthly rejection of anyone who would try to follow him – with wrong motivation, it takes on a different nuance than does the judgement day scene in Matthew 7. I am not a Greek scholar, so perhaps you can answer (and help me understand) whether or not the use of the aorist tense allows for a reading of a time-based understanding of a judgement day future “driving away” – which comports with the present day action of people coming to him…”

    I see this passage as primarily being about discipleship – and not a salvific passage. That is not to say that salvation doesn’t factor in – just that He is mainly dealing with people who want to follow Him for the wrong reason. Not sure if that helps…

  28. I should add that I have debated with Calvinists quite a bit around this passage. Most of them go away when they see that the “ones the Father gave Jesus” is a specific group of people (it cannot be said of future, yet-to-exist people that they “kept” His word).

    Also, typical non-Christians get nervous when they think I am trying to alter truth or something. In actual fact, I am merely suggesting that the observation process take place first. Once that is established, then we can move on to interpretation and then to application. So, I am not in any way suggesting that, just because we have narrowed this passage to a then-specific narrative, we cannot therefore derive any take-away truth and application for ourselves in today’s world. It just that our application will be to derive the general concept of the truth that the passage conveys – as opposed to the truth that the specific action conveys, that may not directly apply to us. IOW we cannot follow the physical, earthly Jesus today, so we need to be careful to not inject ourselves into a narrative that is dealing with following a physical,earthly Jesus.

    My issue is that we do the observation first and then make application after. Most people seem to jump to application pre-maturely. It is great that you are sticking with the text with your line of questioning!

  29. Hi Peter,
    You wrote:

    I agree that in John 17, Jesus *may* not have care over those second generation believers – but that isn’t ruled out by the text. If He is still alive when they also begin to follow Him, it seems that He would be caring for them as well.

    In John 17:11,12 Jesus uses specific words that should help us know who He was talking about. These were ones that Jesus said had already been given to Him. He was “keeping” them in the Father’s name. He “guarded” them and only one perished.

    To “Keep” means to maintain, to keep in a certain state, position, or activity.

    To “Guard” means to keep watch over.

    “Perished” means to be lost – to be or become no longer in one’s possession, whether physically or abstractly.

    In John 17:15, 16 Jesus asks the Father to “keep” the believing eleven from the evil one. Also, in John 17:11 Jesus asks the Father to “keep” them in the Father’s name, the name which the Father had given to Jesus.

    In John 18:8, 9 Jesus asks that the eleven disciples be allowed to leave and the reason is given to fulfill what He prophesied, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.”

    From John 18:8, 9 it appears that Jesus had physical care of the disciples so that those in His care would not die prematurely. From John 17:11, 12 it appears that Jesus “keeping” them also involved spiritual care – a keeping free from the evil one.

    Can we agree that the “keeping” of the eleven involved saving them from physical death before their time and it also involved a spiritual “keeping” that kept them safe from the evil one?

    Could we also agree that the will of Jesus is that the Father would “keep” from the evil one those who believed because of the preaching of the disciples?

  30. Peter,
    You wrote:

    If He is still alive when they also begin to follow Him, it seems that He would be caring for them as well. I would just say that they are not the primary subjects in view in the prayer. They are *included* in the prayer – but in verse 20 Jesus is again talking about the “ones the Father gave him” as a specific, identifiable group of existing people.

    Yes indeed the primary subjects in view are the eleven disciples. We know that because of John 18:9 and only the eleven were revealed as the fulfillment of that statement. However, I think that it is wise to see how the other believers were cared for by the Father in the same way that the disciples were cared for spiritually.

    You wrote:

    In verse 26, he says that “I made your name know to them” so that is a past tense action – which identifies the ones verse 24 as again being existing believers.

    I agree that verse 24 is about believers at that time, but we can also see this as a promise that will be fulfilled with all believers in the end. All who come to believe through the testimony of the disciples (the Bible).

    I asked you about John 6:37 whether you would agree with me that it is not a “giving” from eternity past. You wrote:

    That is a good question. I would not be that quick to say that this “future giving of people” extends beyond the lifetime of Jesus. That is my main point – and one where I may have confused you. I absolutely agree that no one was given to Jesus from eternity past.

    So, whether we agree about future giving of people to Jesus to be only in Jesus earthly ministry time or extends to our time, we agree that the “giving” is not back to a time when the person did not exist. This is important because in Calvinism there cannot be a future “giving”. In Calvinism the “giving” and “predestination” are synonymous. In essence they cannot say that the “giving” is a future act just as they cannot say that “predestination” is a future act. So when Jesus speaks about a future giving in John 6:37, they have to disregard the continuous present tense and they substitute in their minds a past tense from John 17:12.

    Peter you wrote:

    So, in maintaining that the giving is an action limited to the time period of Jesus’ ministry, it rules out any notion of a metaphysical/spiritual giving.

    I have not seen anything in the inspired text that limits the giving of people to Jesus to the time period of Jesus’ ministry. I see that just as the Father “keeps” believers even though there is no physical bodily presence of the Father, so Jesus can “keep” believers without His physical presence. Perhaps you can show me what I missed. Where does the text actually determine that the “giving” of people to Jesus must end with His death?

    You wrote:

    My premise is that if we read the text in this way (and I think it is the right way) it completely disallows the Calvinist way of reading it – which has determined how most non-Calvinists read it as well. The giving was a specific, earthly act that took place for 3 years. So in verse 37, it is not implausible to read it as (paraphrasing): “Everything that the Father gives me (in the next 3 years) will come to me, and anyone who comes to me (in the next 3 years) I will never drive away”.

    Here I do not agree. The grammar is present tense. Jesus is saying those who comes to Him and who continue to come to Him, He will not cast out. The “coming” to Him is synonymous in this passage with “believing” in Him. Jesus is saying that the one who believes in Him and continues to believe in Him, He will never cast out. That is a classic conditional promise. He is not promising that those who believe in Him at first but then apostatize will never be cast out. He is promising that those who continue to believe in Him, it is THOSE ones who will never experience separation from Him. They (the ones who continue to put their trust in Him) who will be safe in Him. It is not an unconditional promise, but a conditional one.

    You wrote:

    As I mentioned in a previous comment this “driving away” helps to locate the “giving” in the first part of the phrase as a then-specific occasion.

    Where did Jesus drive away people during the three years that He was here on this earth? From what I read in the Scripture, that separation (driving away) only occurs at the judgment.

    You wrote:

    There is no reason to consider that the Father is giving anyone to Jesus today. To concede that to the Calvinists opens the door to acknowledging that the Father *does* give ones to Jesus – and gives way to the notion of irresistible grace and unconditional election.

    When I read the Scripture I never think that acknowledging the plain reading of the inspired words and inspired grammar would be acknowledging Calvinism. Honestly, if Calvinism was proven by these passages, I would be a Calvinist because I love truth more than I love a particular theological bent. The difference between what you said above and the way Calvinists see this passage is that they see an unconditional “giving” that is in the past and I see clearly that the “giving” is conditional to first believing the Father. Jesus talked about believing Moses in chapter 5. The words of Moses are the words of the Father.

    John 5:45–47
    45 “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.
    46 “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.
    47 “But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

    The Pharisees did not believe the Father’s word so how could they believe Jesus? Those who do not believe the Father cannot believe Jesus.

    You wrote:

    If we isolate the giving to a *then only* event, it upsets their apple cart.

    Try this with a Calvinist. Ask them, in John 6:37 when Jesus said “All that the Father gives Me” do you interpret that to mean “all that the Father GAVE Me”? Ask them if the the giving = unconditional predestination in the past. John 6:37 is quoted by Calvinists as a proof text of unconditional predestination. And this predestination is always in the past. This is why the present tense is so important to pay attention to.

  31. Peter, you wrote:

    One thing that points toward a limited setting, is seen in verse 38. The will of the Father is seen as an event which had a set time frame. It was done while Jesus was on earth. IOW that will was done after being “sent down from heaven” and “done by the one who sent Him”. In verse 39, we see what the “will” is. It is losing none of the pre-existing, believing Jews – those who are said to to be “the ones that were given to Him”.

    That is a part of the will of the Father. But it is not limited to these Jews. The will of the Father that sent Jesus is far greater than the believers during the first century.

    This passage does not teach that those who come to Him are unbelievers who were unconditionally chosen before time and who are promised from their election that they will be saved. In John 5, Jesus points out the unbelievers in the guise of religious people who cannot come to Him. In John 6, Jesus speaks of those who already belong to the Father as believers, not unbelievers for unbelievers cannot believe His words.

    Psalm 25:14 shows that God’s revelation and His covenant (Jesus) are given to those who fear Him.

    Psalm 25:14
    14 The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant.

    You wrote:

    That is an interesting observation – and one I hadn’t considered. I haven’t looked at the original language to see if “casting out” is the same thing as “driving away”. If it is, your point is certainly weighty. My only observation is that, *in the context of John 6*, Jesus *is* driving away people *at that time* (and this notion is substantiated by the fact that many left him).

    I would suggest that Jesus did not “drive away” people in John 6. It was their unbelief that caused them to leave. Jesus made an observation in John 6:64 just before verse 66 says that people withdrew and were not “walking with Him anymore.”

    John 6:64
    64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.

    “Driving away” is an action that Jesus accomplishes as the Judge. But in John 6:66-69 we see that it the actions of the crowd was because of unbelief.

    John 6:66–69
    66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.
    67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”
    68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.
    69 “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”

    The crowd went “away” from Jesus because they had not placed their faith in Him. They were unbelieving followers just like Judas. Notice that Peter says that they can’t go away from Jesus because they have believed in Him. They believe that Jesus is the Holy One of God and that He has the words of eternal life. The crowd was looking for eternal physical bread and the fact that Jesus said He came down from heaven was too much for them. They would not stay around long enough to see Him go back to heaven where He came from for no unbeliever was in that crowd when Jesus left.

  32. Peter, you said:

    So, if “driving away” can be said to a physical, earthly rejection of anyone who would try to follow him – with wrong motivation, it takes on a different nuance than does the judgement day scene in Matthew 7. I am not a Greek scholar, so perhaps you can answer (and help me understand) whether or not the use of the aorist tense allows for a reading of a time-based understanding of a judgement day future “driving away” – which comports with the present day action of people coming to him…”

    The problem you have here is that the unbelieving crowd’s leaving is not ever connected to Jesus “driving” them away. Instead, Jesus connects it solely to unbelief. Their unbelief. Jesus is not the cause of their unbelief and Jesus already said in chapter 5 that people CANNOT believe Him if they do not believe the words of Moses.

    You said:

    I see this passage as primarily being about discipleship – and not a salvific passage. That is not to say that salvation doesn’t factor in – just that He is mainly dealing with people who want to follow Him for the wrong reason. Not sure if that helps…

    I think you may have missed a part of the passage because it is a passage that is used by Calvinists as their proof text. But don’t let that stop you from seeing salvation here. John 6:40.

    John 6:40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

    This is the will of the Father. Everyone who “beholds” the Son and “believes” in Him will have eternal life. Don’t think that “beholds” is only for the time that Jesus was on the earth. The term rendered as “beholds” means to perceive, observe. It is a term that Jesus attaches to the act of “knowing” and intimate knowledge and relationship.

    John 14:17
    17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

    We could interpret John 6:40 as everyone who knows the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life. We know Jesus by seeing the testimony of Him in the Word. We learn from the Father by the Word and when we trust Jesus we have eternal life. The people of that day did not “see” the Holy Spirit physically, but they did “see” Him because they knew Him and He lived in them.

    You wrote:

    I should add that I have debated with Calvinists quite a bit around this passage. Most of them go away when they see that the “ones the Father gave Jesus” is a specific group of people (it cannot be said of future, yet-to-exist people that they “kept” His word).

    I agree with you! The ones that the Father GAVE (past tense) to Jesus were the disciples that walked with Him. They are identified as the group given to Him when John speaks about the fulfillment of Jesus’ words when John has given the events of Jesus arrested in the garden.

    Does any of this make sense to you?

  33. Hi Cheryl. Thanks you so much for your comments. It seems like the crux of our where we disagree distills down to verse 39. In the context of the entire passage, my reading doesn’t cause any strain on the narrative. (I am not saying yours does either at the outset). But, as you know, we need to establish first what the setting was – and how the original hearers would have heard the words of Jesus. It can’t mean something to us that it didn’t meant to them. In that regard, a brief synopsis reveals that:

    – Jesus was speaking primarily to Jews – mostly those who don’t believe him
    – those Jews were following him around the country side with the wrong motivation – a desire for physical food
    – He was trying to get them to go away as He only wanted followers who believed Him. In that sense his offensive language served its purpose
    – the Father’s drawing was an act that applied specifically to regenerate Jew’s s who believed prior to the arrival of Jesus. These people were not just the 12 disciples. The “drawing” is defined in verse 45 – it is essentially described as being “taught” by God.
    – the “giving” is something that took place when the care of these ones was transferred from the Father to these specific people.

    From the setting that is in view, there is no need to consider (as a *first* notion) that Jesus is engaging in general theological teaching. He is instructing a specific people with specific information for a specific situation. It is no different than any one of Paul’s occasional letters. So, in doing the first step of observation, we notice that Jesus *does* use the present tense of the word “giving” in verse 37. However, if we imagine the setting and consider what it would be like if we were present at that time, there is no need to consider a present continuous action that Jesus is describing here. Given that more and more people will come to Him with right motivation (due to the teaching of John the Baptist for example) in other locations – and given that those ones will “come” to Him in order to follow Him (in a physical desire), there is no valid reason to say that the use of the present continuous action needs to continue after He ascends from the earth.

    Let’s assume for the moment that the use of His mention of “driving away” is purely an eschatological occasion. Even then there is no reason to eliminate a notion of people being given to Jesus by the Father (in a then-specific-caretaking sense) – who are then not “cast out” at the last day. This same scenario can be seen in verse 40. In fact, I think it is the proper way to read that verse. IE. “those who *physically* see Jesus and believe Him will have eternal life and Jesus will rise them up on the first day. In the context of the passage – and as those ones present would have heard the words, they would have understood these straight forward words. What I am suggesting here is the first order observation of the text. Does that mean if we move on to interpretation and application, that people reading the Bible today can’t take away truth from this verse? Of course not. Even though I can’t “see” Jesus in a physical sense, I can realize that if I believe in Jesus I can have eternal life. So, I don’t think the “driving away” as seen as you do, is a stumbling block to our argument.

    Having said that, I think a good case can be made for a setting-based “driving away” scenario. You mentioned that they stopped following Jesus because of unbelief. That is true – but that actually proves my point. His offensive language was not the thing that caused their unbelief though. It simply was the thing that exposed their pre-existing unbelief. It sussed out the fact that they were improperly motivated. Given that He did not want a huge entourage of unbelievers following him around the country side, it is not implausible to consider that His rationale was to “drive away” believers. At that time.

    A few things to note at this point:
    – we know that God is not a respecter of persons
    – we know that Jesus said that blessed are those who don’t turn away because of Him. (Matt 11:6)

    In your article, you said //And those who believe the Father’s revelation about Jesus, will be allowed to come to Jesus. It is all about faith in the amount of revelation that one has been given//

    As I mentioned, the subjects of this passage was Jews. So the first sentence here is correct. In that setting, the ones who believed the Father’s revelation would be those who it could be said to be “drawn by the Father”. That aligns with the context of the passage. But I disagree with the second sentence in that it seems to portray unconditional election. People today may respond to the gospel having had differing amounts of available revelation – but to infer that some have been “given” more and some have been “given” less implies that God *is* a respecter of persons.

    My personal view is that there is a great amount of revelation that is available to all – and the accessibility of that revelation only really varies to the extent that some seek for it more than others.

    You asked a few specific questions which I did not have time to address here – but I will get to them later. As I said though, I think that one aspect of our disagreement comes from moving on to interpretation and application too quickly. I am sure that your questions will arise once more after you read this bit that I have just written.

    I will leave you with this: if the Father is still giving Gentiles to Jesus today, in what manner do you see this “giving” coming about? If it is about giving them special revelation wouldn’t that be akin to an unconditional election – and be a case of the Father actually *being* a respecter of persons?

    For the record, many people are saved today who don’t previously believe that God exists – but come to believe in Jesus through the gospel and then accept the truth of God’s existence by way of that process. IOW they didn’t have to have a Jewish-based knowledge of the Father before they could proceed to exercising faith in Jesus. These ones do an end run of sorts.

  34. Thanks for the response Peter, and your continued dialog. I am going to ask questions and respond to just pieces at a time so that we can better define any differences we have, The beginning part of your synopsis I agree with. I will pick out what stands out to me.

    You wrote:

    – He was trying to get them to go away as He only wanted followers who believed Him.

    I don’t see this in the passage. Where specifically in the passage does it say that Jesus wanted many of His followers to go away?

    You wrote:

    In that sense his offensive language served its purpose

    What specifically does Jesus say that identifies why people are scandalized by His words? Jesus responded with their problem, yet He said that the words that He gives are spirit and life. If Jesus is giving the crowd words of life, then what makes you think that Jesus was expressively desiring that people would not stay around Him to hear the words of life?

  35. It doesn’t specifically say this verbatim, but the whole passage deals with the contrast of the 2 groups of people – those Jews who believe Him and want to follow Him with right motivation and those who don’t believe and are following him for the wrong reasons. So what we see in John 6 is really a dividing out of the one group from the other. I think the fact that the latter group went away when Jesus delivered the truth via a “hard saying” serves to show this point. I am really just drawing that by way of inference, but given that Jesus knew that they weren’t believers and their hearts weren’t right I think they did what He wanted them to do. IE if they weren’t going to believe, He preferred that they didn’t follow Him for the wrong reasons. Of course, if some heard the words He spoke and ended up believing He would have been most happy. But He knew what was in their hearts. Despite His desire that they hear the truth and be saved, he likely expected that they would leave.

  36. Hi Peter,

    I can agree with you that the words of truth that Jesus gave were spiritual and they were life and they showed who believed Jesus and who were willing to continue to hear words of life because those ones stayed. The others were there for a free meal and they were not interested in spiritual words that brought spiritual life. However, I disagree that Jesus did not want some people to follow Him. I think this is going beyond the text and beyond what Jesus said. If I am wrong I am willing to be corrected.

    You wrote:

    I think they did what He wanted them to do.

    I think that it is clear that He wanted them all to eat of the spiritual food that was given to them as He said that His Father gives them the true bread out of heaven which was Himself.

    John 6:32
    Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.

    It would be inconsistent for Jesus to purposely drive away people from Himself when He came to do the Father’s will and the Father’s will was that Jesus had been given out of heaven for those unbelievers.

  37. However, if we see that casting out or driving away refers to the final judgment then the passage is completely consistent within itself and with Jesus’ purpose not to judge in His first coming but to judge in the next life and expel unbelievers at that time.

  38. To be clear, He is willing that none perish. So in an absolute sense, of course he doesn’t want anyone to reject him. But given the fact that He knew that many did not believe Him – it is within that context that He was not interested in unbelievers following Him around the country. He wanted those ones to go away. In actual fact, he was making a judgement against them – but it was not the final judgement. I am sure that there was a scenario where it is possible that some of these ones could have had a change of heart after that encounter and chose to believe in Him.

    It would be inconsistent for Jesus to purposely drive away people from Himself when He came to do the Father’s will and the Father’s will was that Jesus had been given out of heaven for those unbelievers.

    Actually, I disagree with you here. The text says that the Father’s will (the specific will as it pertained to this setting. I am not saying it is the entirety of the whole will for him) was that He lose none that had been given to him. Those that were given to him were the pre-existing believers who were looking forward to his coming and they knew He was the Messiah when they saw him. Remember this is a Jewish-specific passage that is not speaking about the general will of saving sinners. These Jews were regenerate – they did not need saving as they already believed.

  39. Peter, you wrote:

    But given the fact that He knew that many did not believe Him – it is within that context that He was not interested in unbelievers following Him around the country. He wanted those ones to go away.

    I see nothing of that in the text. Instead, Jesus spoke to the crowd truth about the Father’s intention and that did not include driving unbelievers away. Who is Jesus talking to in John 6:32? Who were the ones who received the bread out of heaven by Moses? Only believers?

    John 6:32
    Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.

    Jesus was not speaking to just believers but to unbelievers as well. The same kinds of people that were fed with the manna are given the true bread from heaven.

    Then Jesus said to the unbelievers:

    John 6:64
    “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.

    Jesus did not say “there are some of you who do not believe and I want you unbelievers to be driven away from Me”. That is foreign to the passage. Notice Jesus included Judas in the group of unbelievers and Jesus did not send Judas away. Judas STAYED with Jesus. IF it was the purpose of Jesus to DRIVE AWAY the unbelievers, then the text would have said this. We would not have to guess that meaning by reading it into the text. And Judas, who was (referred to by Jesus as the one who would betray Him) would have been driven away if Jesus did not want unbelievers to follow Him. Jesus had the worst kind of unbeliever following Him, yet Jesus cared for Judas and even washed his feet!

    You wrote:

    In actual fact, he was making a judgement against them – but it was not the final judgement.

    The text doesn’t say this. You are saying that Jesus was not interested in having unbelievers follow Him, yet Jesus washed Judas’ feet and He told the mostly unbelieving crowd that the Father gave Jesus (the true bread from heaven) for them.

    I think that you have very good intentions. You are rightly dismayed that there are many who are taught that God planned an unconditional election to salvation for some people. But we must also be careful in proving our point by being fair with the text and not reading into it what is not there. It is not a matter how we FEEL that Jesus was thinking, but what the text actually says. Again, I may have missed something, but you have not yet corrected me with the inspired words and the inspired grammar. You have just told me what Jesus was thinking. That is only valid if you have the actual proof of that thinking. I think that the example of Judas totally vindicates Jesus from having the plan to deliberately DRIVE away those for whom He would shortly die on their behalf. Logically and textually, where am I wrong?

    You wrote:

    Actually, I disagree with you here. The text says that the Father’s will (the specific will as it pertained to this setting. I am not saying it is the entirety of the whole will for him) was that He lose none that had been given to him.

    No, that is not right. John 6:37 says it is the “one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”

    The grammar shows that the one who comes (present tense) is the one who believes (present tense) as the one who continues to come (continues to believe). The believer who continues to put his faith in Jesus will never (double negative) be cast out.

    You wrote:

    Remember this is a Jewish-specific passage that is not speaking about the general will of saving sinners.

    The Bible doesn’t say that Gentiles are saved in a different way than Jews. Are you perhaps a dispensationalist who believes that the church was not founded until after Paul was saved?

  40. Jesus did not say “there are some of you who do not believe and I want you unbelievers to be driven away from Me”. That is foreign to the passage.

    He did not say that, but the words He spoke served that very purpose. I still maintain that this is about discipleship. Earlier in the passage he told those present to work for food that endures. If this was a salvific passage, that would be akin to teaching works salvation. So, in that regard, it makes complete sense that He was trying to separate out the true disciples from the wannabes. Re Judas, I would simply say that He diid believe – except his flesh go the better of him at some point, which puts him in a different class than the others. I don’t think it is necessary to place a demand on the text and try to make it say precisely what we need it to say or we will not except it. Many commentators have made this same point. As well, it is entirely within the range of sound reasoning to consider that Jesus is teaching truth with a desire that some would come to believe knowing full well that any imposters would go away.

    We may have to disagree on this point. I see that it is in the text even though it is not spelled out in exact words. I am not sure I can say much more to convince you otherwise.

    Next point:

    “For I have come down from heaven :not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

    Here it is very clear that Jesus has come down to do the Father’s will – which is to lose none of those who the Father sent him. That is the specific will that is germane to this passage.

    You then said:

    The grammar shows that the one who comes (present tense) is the one who believes (present tense) as the one who continues to come (continues to believe). The believer who continues to put his faith in Jesus will never (double negative) be cast out.

    This does nothing to refute my premise. The grammar is present tense and I am not disputing that. Where I see it differently, is that by considering the setting (of Jesus’ earthly ministry which is in view here) the FIRST thing to notice is that he is saying what he is saying to the Jews present and he is telling THEM how this relates to them. They are the initial recipients. That is the observation stage reading that should not be overlooked. What you are arguing for is a part of the interpretation stage.So, as we make observation of what the grammar is conveying, we should not fail to consider the setting that the grammar is being tempered by. Where we differ here is that I am simply looking at the grammar and tying it to the context of the previous verses. Given that what He says applies to these ones within the setting and context, it doesn’t do any violence to the text to suggest that He is telling them a universal truth that is applicable to them at that time. By saying that, I am not saying that there isn’t an interpretation that leads to an application for future generations of believers. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t jump there first – and if we do jump there first, it shouldn’t overrule what the original conversation was pointing at.

    So, to clarify, I am simply saying that there is a present tense in the words of Jesus – as He spoke AT THAT TIME. That is not to imply that the truth of what He said won’t carry forward universally. Just that it also doesn’t disqualify my premise – as it fits this context perfectly well. Where you and I disagree is at the first sentence of your comment here. I am saying that the one “who comes” was one who was coming at the time of his ministry – present tense at that time but a past setting (from our perspective).

  41. Peter, you wrote:

    He did not say that, but the words He spoke served that very purpose.

    Knowing the future actions of people does not mean that the actions are His intended purpose. God knows that most people will be lost but it would be illogical to say that the rejection of Jesus by the masses was His purpose. The fact is that we cannot determine a purpose outside of God’s stated will because we think His purpose changed because the response was negative. We define God’s purpose not by the actions of men, but by God’s revealed purpose throughout the Scripture.

    You wrote:

    Earlier in the passage he told those present to work for food that endures.

    I have written on this passage on this blog. “Work for” here means put your effort towards chasing after. It has nothing to do with earning salvation. Jesus is talking about discipleship because He is mainly talking to unbelievers. Unbelievers cannot be discipled before they are saved. I think it is possible that you are working hard to defeat Calvinism to the point that you may have missed the point in John 6. It seems to me that you are starting with a conclusion first. I start with the understanding that Jesus is teaching truth and I don’t need to explain away what appears to be clear words about salvation. I want to understand the inspired words in context because a proper understanding will never contradict other clear passages and will allow the inspired words in this passage to stand strong and powerful.

    You wrote:

    Re Judas, I would simply say that He diid believe – except his flesh go the better of him at some point, which puts him in a different class than the others.

    If you would say that Judas was a believer then you would come face to face with the words of Jesus that contradict that belief. Jesus called Judas a devil in John 6:70.

    John 6:70 Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”

    Jesus didn’t say that Judas would become a devil when he betrayed Jesus. He said Judas IS a devil. Again, it is present tense and ongoing. Jesus also connects unbelief to the one who would betray Him.

    John 6:64
    64“But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.

    Jesus did not say that a believer would betray Him. He said that Judas was a devil and continued to be a devil and as an unbeliever Judas would betray Jesus.

    Judas was not only a devil, but he was a practiced thief.

    John 12:6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.

    You wrote:

    As well, it is entirely within the range of sound reasoning to consider that Jesus is teaching truth with a desire that some would come to believe knowing full well that any imposters would go away.

    Now that is different than you said before. Of course Jesus knew that impostors would go away when He claimed that He came down from heaven. However, it is entirely a different matter to know unbelievers would not believe and would walk away to saying that this is what He willed to happen.

    You wrote:

    I see that it is in the text even though it is not spelled out in exact words.

    I think this is where you and I differ. I want the truth so much so that I will let the exact words and exact grammar of the text convince me rather then what I bring into the text by what I “see”. When you can see Judas as a believer when Jesus called him a “devil”, I think you may very well be letting your own feelings cloud your pursuit of truth. I LOVE truth more than I love my own understanding. That is why I allow myself to be corrected. You have not yet corrected me because you have not brought out the words and grammar to correct me. And if shown that Jesus called Judas a devil in John 6, you still see him as a believer, we have a completely different foundation for our doctrine. You can’t convince me that way and you are unlikely to influence a Calvinist either.

    I will answer the rest of your post later as I have time.

  42. Re Judas, I think it is possible to believe and to not follow. In James, he says that Satan believes and he shudders. It may be a point not worth harping on – but I was trying to differentiate between Judas and these unbelieving Jews. It is very possible to believe – in the sense that one believes the truth about a situation, and yet not follow that truth. That was what I was trying to convey about Judas. After he betrayed Jesus he killed himself because he knew that he had betrayed the very son of God. That knowledge came as a result of believing. In contrast, these unbelieving Jews did no possess that knowledge. They did not believe that Jesus was who He proclaimed to be. What I am NOT saying here is that, for believers in general, head knowledge believing is enough.

    A cursive reading of the passage reveals 2 groups of people – believers and unbelievers. The preaching of Jesus drove some away – as He knew it would. He was not unfamiliar with these ones. We are left to derive our own interpretation and inference from this outcome of the passage.

    You should know that I am likely as committed to scriptural truth as you are. Although you have now moved to trying to determine my motives (a place I hoped we could avoid) – by pondering whether I am a dispensationalist, and if my feelings are clouding my pursuit of truth, I can tell you that I LOVE truth more than anything myself.

    Re the grammar point that you make, I don’t think you are factoring the setting into your analysis of the grammar. Our particular dividing point is verse 37. When you read that verse, you are reading it through your own interpretive lens that tells you that there is an ongoing “giving of the Father” that continues to this day. In that regard, the “grammar” there clouds your reading of the following verses. But this wrong turn can be avoided if it is determined that the ones that the Father *gave* Jesus – and continued to *give* Jesus as He walked the earth as a human, are specific pre-existing people. I asked you before in what manner does the Father give people to Jesus today and still maintain a non-respecter-of-persons perspective but you did not answer me.

    I maintain that the “giving” only happened as a transitional process while Jesus did earthly ministry. I think the text bears that out. Only if you read your interpretation of the giving into the passage will you be able to come away with a giving that is still ongoing today. Remember what He says in verse 37 has to FIRST make sense to these hearers so they can make application to his message. They would have understood that they could not “come to Him” (in a purely motivated sense) without believing. “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away”. This is a then-specific situation – and not a universal truth embedded in a then-specific narrative. It is imperative that we do the consistent reading here. That is the first step if we are going to arrive at the truth that you desire as I do. It is critical to keep in mind that the “coming to Him” that is IN THE TEXT is an actual physical type of “coming”. This much is evident because they actually HAVE come to Him – and He is rebuking them for doing so.

    I should say that I have had very good success with Calvinists when I show them who the ones are that the Father gave Jesus. They were not concerned about the notion of an ongoing “giving” so that was a non-starter for them. The main thing that stopped them in their tracks was that they were forced to acknowledge that the “ones that the Father gave Jesus” was a specific group of pre-existing people – and not a class of people spanning across the time line of history. In actual fact, I think you may have more difficulty explaining your view and convincing them than I do. Because you are only coming half way on the text and your view (it seems to me) still seems to hold some degree of unconditional election and is a hybrid view in that regard. I say that will all due respect.

  43. Peter, you wrote:

    Although you have now moved to trying to determine my motives (a place I hoped we could avoid) – by pondering whether I am a dispensationalist, and if my feelings are clouding my pursuit of truth, I can tell you that I LOVE truth more than anything myself…Because you are only coming half way on the text and your view (it seems to me) still seems to hold some degree of unconditional election and is a hybrid view in that regard.

    Motive is different then presupposition. I am trying to understand where you are coming from. I asked you questions to determine your presuppositions. I find it interesting that you say that in your view I hold to some degree of unconditional election. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I hold no type of unconditional election to salvation. Just because I believe that the text says what it means does not cause me to add “unconditional” to the text. I recommend you read my articles about Judas and John the Baptist in the issue of predestination as that should help you to understand my view of no unconditional predestination.

    https://mmoutreach.org/tg/john-baptist/
    https://mmoutreach.org/tg/juda-2/

    It also might be helpful if you try to rephrase my view to see if you understand me correctly. It isn’t productive to debate a point that I don’t believe.

    You wrote:

    Re Judas, I think it is possible to believe and to not follow.

    So Judas was a believer just not a follower? And John 6 is talking about the kind of belief that the demons have? And when Jesus said that there are some who do not believe, Judas was not one of those unbelievers? Was Jesus’ point that some of the crowd believed less than the demons do? Or was His point that there are no unbelievers at all because everyone believes at least the very basic belief just as the demons do? Does Jesus calling Judas a devil then prove that Judas was a believer?

    I think I will wait for you to read through my articles, because you have a deep misunderstanding of my view.

  44. I would assume that you don’t hold to unconditional election – its just that it seems to me to be the natural outcome of your view. If the Father is still giving people today – and it is NOT everyone who is being given, it would seem that there is some sort of selection that determines who is being given. You haven’t explained how that occurs.

    I think I am going to leave this with you for now – as it now seems that we may be talking past each other. You seem to be hard pressed to prove me wrong on the unbeliever/believer/Judas thing – when it isn’t the main part of my argument. You focus on that and ignore what I have to say about the basic reading of the text – which I maintain defeats your view. I tried to distinguish between different types of believing but it feels like you didn’t catch what I said there. You say I misunderstand your view. All I can go by is what you have told me – which is that the Father is still giving people to Jesus today. I merely maintain that the careful reading of the text denies that.

    I am not sure if I hit a nerve with you, but the conversation is becoming slightly less than irenic, and I think it is best to leave it before it becomes personal. Thanks for the chat!

  45. Hi Peter,

    You wrote:

    I am not sure if I hit a nerve with you, but the conversation is becoming slightly less than irenic, and I think it is best to leave it before it becomes personal. Thanks for the chat!

    I am not sure what you are talking about. It isn’t coming from my side. I am asking questions to understand your view and you are choosing not to respond. From our last discussion it seems that we have differences about the term “believe” and without understanding what you mean by the term “believe”. It is key to the understanding of John 6:36-40 and also within the entire chapter. I chose not to go into your entire claims (and I am very willing to continue the dialog and cover all of them) but when I see a “talking past” each other because we appear to have different meanings for words, it is wise to work hard to understand and clarify word meaning so that we can continue without “talking past” each other. I consider this a part of my strong desire for truth.

    You wrote:

    I would assume that you don’t hold to unconditional election – its just that it seems to me to be the natural outcome of your view. If the Father is still giving people today – and it is NOT everyone who is being given, it would seem that there is some sort of selection that determines who is being given. You haven’t explained how that occurs.

    It is NOT a natural outcome of my view. I recommended that you read two articles on my blog as that should help you understand if you really want to understand so that you do not “talk past” me. Did you read the articles? If you did, then please ask questions about where I missed addressing your question as I believe I was quite clear. Calvinists don’t see it as a natural outcome, so it mystifies me how a non-Calvinist could think that.

    You wrote:

    You seem to be hard pressed to prove me wrong on the unbeliever/believer/Judas thing – when it isn’t the main part of my argument.

    The issue of who is a believer is part of both of our arguments and understanding what that means is vital. Are you trying to prove me wrong in my view without understanding what I believe? I am not trying to prove you wrong. I was hoping we could come to a general understanding of our views and as much of an ability to agree as possible. That isn’t possible if we cannot understand what each means by the term “believe”. I asked questions of you about Judas as a believer as demons as believing was brought up by you. You may not think it is the main part of your argument however defining terms and understanding your beliefs about believers and unbelievers is important in understanding and evaluating your main arguments. The fact that you chose not to answer me but to withdraw from the conversation is quite puzzling. It makes me wonder why you are not willing to allow your view to be clearly outlined and understood by defining your terms.

    You wrote:

    You focus on that and ignore what I have to say about the basic reading of the text – which I maintain defeats your view.

    You are determined to defeat my view, yet you don’t seem to understand my view. It seems to me that your effort to defeat me may cloud your ability to understand me first. I still think that we can have a productive conversation, but it should deal with our understanding of terms as a foundation to really understand the views so that in the end if we end up agreeing or if we agree to disagree, we at least will understand what each of us believes. Right now I am not sure what you mean by believer and unbeliever. Are you willing to define your terms including how believing relates to demons? Let’s have a rousing good conversation!

    You wrote:

    I tried to distinguish between different types of believing but it feels like you didn’t catch what I said there. You say I misunderstand your view.

    A good thing to do is define the terms. Work hard to present your definition so that I can reflect it back and you can say, yes I agree. In the same way you can reflect back my view and I can agree that you understand or not. The fact is that I have written so much about this matter that a little effort on your part to read the articles would be very helpful if you really are interested in comparing viewpoints.

    You wrote:

    All I can go by is what you have told me – which is that the Father is still giving people to Jesus today.

    I am not saying that the Father is giving people unconditionally to Jesus. Not back then, not after Jesus spoke the words and not now. Salvation is conditional on faith. Would you like me to document the condition of faith from the Scriptures?

    You wrote:

    I merely maintain that the careful reading of the text denies that.

    We can get to that. Let’s define the terms, get an understanding of what we mean, and then go on to the “careful reading” of the text.

    You wrote:

    I am not sure if I hit a nerve with you, but the conversation is becoming slightly less than irenic, and I think it is best to leave it before it becomes personal. Thanks for the chat!

    No nerve hit. You have said that Calvinists leave your conversations. I see the same thing happening to me with Calvinists. I usually don’t expect the leaving of the conversation from a non-Calvinist especially when I am asking to understand what they mean. Is it possible that you are too sensitive and think that asking questions and trying to understand is an attack on you? It isn’t an attack. I am an apologist and asking questions and seeking to understand first is what I do. I have to admit that I took for granted that you believed more like I do when we first started to dialog, but I think that may have been a misunderstanding on my part. Now I see that going through all of what you wrote at one time would not be productive because there seems to be a divide in our meaning of terms. I have chosen to stick to small portions of what you said before moving on so that I could gain an understanding of what you mean by key terms. The more complicated passages require much more detail and if we have a disconnect and no basic understanding of what it means to be a believer or an unbeliever, how on earth can you “defeat my view” or me understand yours if we don’t have any agreement about our understanding of these important terms from John 6?

    I am willing to go through all that you have written. Are you willing to define your terms to make your view understandable and willing to work to understand and reflect back my view so I know you understand? That would make a very valuable conversation and one that would be helpful to both of us. Sometimes patience is required instead of running past and “talking over” the other person because neither understands the argument. If you decide you have had enough dialog then I would hope you would be far easier on a Calvinist who chooses to leave a conversation with you.

    With all respect intended, you have my permission to point a Calvinist to this blog who will not continue talking to you. They may be interested in our discussion here and I would be happy to answer their questions and to dialog with them.

    Warmly, Cheryl

  46. Hi Cheryl,

    At this point, I think it is best if I do go back and read your articles before resending too much more. It does seem to me that we are stuck a bit and it would be good to clarify things – if we are to continue in a productive manner.

    Here is a snippet which I offer as an example that may typify our greatest divide – and also my perspective as I read your comments. You wrote:

    I am not saying that the Father is giving people unconditionally to Jesus. Not back then, not after Jesus spoke the words and not now. Salvation is conditional on faith. Would you like me to document the condition of faith from the Scriptures?

    First of all, I have a good understanding that salvation is by faith – so you need not express any doubt in that regard. Your offer here to explain this to me is somewhat telling. It reveals that you seem to think that perhaps I am deficient in that knowledge. I do find that a bit troubling – but I am willing to ignore that in order to get to the crux of the matter. (If you are interested in looking at some solid evidence that salvation is conditional by faith, I can send you a response I wrote to a universalist who was championing Romans 5:18 as a proof text for universalism. In that article I listed 9 times prior to 5:18 where Paul notes the condition).

    Secondly, you have inserted the word “unconditionally” into the equation. I have never said anything about an “unconditional giving” at any point so you can rest assured that there is no impasse for us there. My view – so that you are clear on that, is that there was a conditional giving at the time of Jesus’ ministry on the earth – but there is NO giving now whatsoever. IOW the Father is no longer giving care of the Jewish believers who believed prior to Jesus’ arrival over to Jesus today.

    I will report back after I have read the articles.

  47. I should also point out that I made it very clear in the article I sent you on reconciliation, that I believe that salvation is by faith. So no need for any doubt in that regard.

  48. Peter, you wrote:

    First of all, I have a good understanding that salvation is by faith – so you need not express any doubt in that regard. Your offer here to explain this to me is somewhat telling. It reveals that you seem to think that perhaps I am deficient in that knowledge. I do find that a bit troubling – but I am willing to ignore that in order to get to the crux of the matter.

    I never suggested that you don’t believe salvation is by faith. I was trying to explain one more time that I do not believe in unconditional election/salvation. It never occurred to me that you would see my statement as questioning your faith. When I asked you if you want me to document salvation by faith, I am asking if you need me to share my acceptance of conditional salvation/election from the Scriptures. Hopefully you will get a clearer picture once you read my articles. It is weird to have to defend my belief in conditional election with a non-Calvinist when no Calvinist ever labeled me that way and I have defended conditional election for years!

  49. OK I accept your clarification – but you can see how I might misconstrue what you said there. The weakness of this mode of communication!

    I did read your articles. I am not sure they affect much of what we have discussed to this point – because I don’t disagree with much of what you say there. While I am not sure that your premise that John the Baptist died an unbeliever, it doesn’t really change the fact that I agree with you that he would have needed to make his own personal confession of faith.

    As for Judas, I think we will just have to agree to disagree there. I think there is too much conjecture that needs to be made as to his status – as it relates to his unbelief. Whether he had a knowledge of truth that he could have acted upon for his own salvation or not, I am not sure it makes a huge difference to our discussion. Even though he didn’t go away after he heard the words of Jesus (like the others) does not mean that Jesus wasn’t unhappy that he was still following him. After all, it was he that it was prophesied about that he would betray Jesus. There was a purpose for him continuing to follow Jesus. My premise is not affect by a scenario whereby all but one of the unbelievers left. The reason I say this is because the narrowing down of the crowd was still achieved by *most* of the unbelievers leaving. I know you had much more to say about him there but

    I know that you reject my premise, but it seems that you must be saying that Jesus wanted unbelievers to follow him – even with their wrongly motivated reasons.

    We may have to have a restart because we are at a place of misunderstanding each other frequently. You say it is weird to defend your belief that you have held for years. This may be a point where you are misunderstanding me. So I will try to state as clearly as I can what I believe about election:

    I believe that election is conditional upon one placing his faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. When an individual does that, he becomes part of the elect. But election as it regards individuals, is a moving categorical process. It has nothing to do with God choosing individuals to be elect before they were born (I know you agree here). It is individuals who determine whether they will join themselves to the “elected-ness” of Jesus. They are not pre-elected by God (I am making up words here to convey a point – that is how convoluted this has gotten because of Calvinist rhetoric). They are never pre-elected by God and never will be pre-elected by God.

    So God sets a condition on how one is able to join oneself to the ELECT. Election can be said to be conditional in that regard – from God’s perspective. So corporate conditionalism. From an individual’s perspective, conditional is a moot point – because individuals are not elected by God. There is no conditional election of individuals from the point of view of God electing individuals personally and individualistically. I know that is hard to follow – but I think it is necessary for me to go into more detail in order for you to see how I view election.

    To clarify, the demographic of the elect is WHOSOEVER. The condition set by God is that, for WHOSOEVER to join the elect, WHOSOEVER must believe. That is conditional election – full stop.

  50. EDIT: I am not sure if I can edit on this program – but I meant to say that “conditional” is a moot point rather than election in the 8th line from the bottom.

  51. Peter, I am going to try to reflect back on what you have said to see if I understand you correctly. I am picking out points that stand out to me as important to see if I understand. My points may also bring in the things you may have expressed in earlier posts.

    You said:

    1. You accept much of the Scriptural argument that I made for John the Baptist, although you don’t know if John died as a believer or an unbeliever.

    2. You did not agree with my Scriptural article on Judas and you do not know if Judas was a believer or an unbeliever.

    3. Jesus was unhappy that one unbeliever (Judas) kept following Him.

    4. Jesus spoke a particular teaching to the crowd in order that they would abandon Him and leave and it was Jesus’ will and what makes Him happy, that unbelievers would not follow Him.

    5. Judas had a purpose to follow Jesus and not leave because he wanted to betray Jesus.

    6. Conditional election is solely accomplished by men and not God.

    7. There is a “moving categorical process” in election. I do not know what you mean by this so I am going to take a stab at it. Does this mean “individuals” move to the “category” of elect which is not no longer “individual” in nature but “corporate” thus no one is an elect individual but there is only an elect corporate body?

    8. No individual is pre-elected before faith.

    9. Individuals self determine to join themselves to the ELECT which is a corporate body and not individual members.

    10. The condition is set by God in how an individual may come into the elect.

    11. Individuals are not elected by God either before or after they respond in faith. Jesus is the only one who was elected but the corporate body is the ELECT. Jesus Himself is not the ELECT.

    12. Individuals self determine whether they will join themselves

    13. God does not elect anyone before or after they have faith, and individuals do not elect themselves. Thus there is no individual election at all. It is a myth promoted by Calvinists.

    14. Conditional election is only applicable to a thing called the ELECT and never to individuals.

    15. Any other biblical term that would be associated with the term election must be interpreted to mean corporate and not individual. Whosoever then is not “any individual” but a corporate non-individual entity.

    Peter, how did I do in trying to restate my understanding of your view?

  52. I will comment on each one in order to bring clarity. If this is your understanding of my view (on some of the points), you are quite confused!

    1.

    You accept much of the Scriptural argument that I made for John the Baptist, although you don’t know if John died as a believer or an unbeliever.

    Correct. But I don’t think it is relevant either way. I see where you are going with your premise but your point is made whether he was saved or not. The issue of his salvation (for me) has nothing to do with unconditional election – just whether or not the expression of his doubt qualifies as being being a total lack of faith. So its a textual issue for me an not something that is based on unconditional election. IOW is that one verse enough to portray him as an unbeliever or is just a matter of him wavering a bit? We can leave this for the sake of our argument.

    2.

    You did not agree with my Scriptural article on Judas and you do not know if Judas was a believer or an unbeliever.

    I did not disagree with your article for the most part. Its just that I am somewhat agnostic as to Judas’ role in our argument. It seemed to me like you pulled him into our argument – but I am not sure why. Perhaps you think if you can show that there is one unbeliever that Jesus did not try to chase away, it is therefore proof that my premise fails? We could go round and round on the question of whether or not Judas believed – but I don’t think we will get anywhere. We will both agree that he did not have the type of belief that saved him. Does that mean he never believed in a way that could save him if he had persevered? I don’t know. It is a conjecture filled argument. I don’t believe in OSAS – but perhaps you do. If so that will affect how we see things – each differently.

    3.

    Jesus was unhappy that one unbeliever (Judas) kept following Him.

    You like to reframe things in a way that tends to misrepresent my view. Happiness or unhappiness is not the issue. To repeat what I said earlier, Jesus would have been most happy to have each and every Jew believe in Him. But given free will, many Jews rejected His teaching. They had also been rejecting the Father’s teaching as well – prior to Jesus’ arrival. It is not difficult to see that Jesus often made effort to escape the crowd and resist their efforts to make Him king etc. These ones who were not true disciples and not interested in true bread, were counter-productive to Jesus’ ministry. He did not want this group of people who were following Him for the wrong reasons, to follow Him everywhere He went.

    So, this is not a matter of perfect-world-happiness as you seem to be framing it. It is a matter of Jesus’ desire in that setting – GIVEN everything that is happening. In that setting, given the role of Judas’ betrayal, Jesus understood the situation and the need for Judas to remain with Him. I don’t know how else to explain this.

    4. Jesus spoke a particular teaching to the crowd in order that they would abandon Him and leave and it was Jesus’ will and what makes Him happy, that unbelievers would not follow Him.

    This again misrepresents me. Jesus merely spoke the truth. He knew that some would not believe and would leave because of the truth. But what He said also provided truth for them to be saved – because they could be saved if they believed. You seem to feel that they could hear the truth, not believe – and Jesus would still be fine with them following him around the country side in large crowds. Again, happiness is nowhere on the radar here – and it seems like I have not been able to adequately convey this scenario to you.

    5. Judas had a purpose to follow Jesus and not leave because he wanted to betray Jesus.

    There is much that I don’t know – because I am not told in the scriptures. So it would be conjecture to lay out an exact time line depicting his motives and whether or not he believed or not – or if he believed, when he stopped believing and when Satan entered his heart. I do believe that Jesus was not unaware of his heart went he chose him to be a disciple. But as I said it, all of this is irrelevant to my premise. Its more your thing.

    6. Conditional election is solely accomplished by men and not God.,/blockquote>

    Conditional election is your term and not mine. But again, this is a misrepresentation. When you say “solely” are you implying that I don’t factor the role of the Holy Spirit into the equation? But beyond that, from God’s perspective (which is the only one that matters here) election is a matter that He settled before creation. He pre-decided that a category (believers) would be chosen to shine forth HIs glory to the world. The condition was that they would believe. Is that conditional election?

    <7. There is a “moving categorical process” in election. I do not know what you mean by this so I am going to take a stab at it. Does this mean “individuals” move to the “category” of elect which is not no longer “individual” in nature but “corporate” thus no one is an elect individual but there is only an elect corporate body?

    Election is corporate, meaning is irrespective of individuals – as far as it relates to any choosing of individuals by God in their becoming part of the elect. BTW I don’t think much in terms of election. It is not a huge deal for me and it is only necessary to harp on it because the Calvinists do. It is a grossly misunderstood term – and it gets muddled even in our conversation. To answer you here, the category is corporate, an individual can call himself/herself elected – but that conjures up notions of being selected individually. Refer to the school band analogy I gave you to help gain understanding of how I think in this regard.

    8. No individual is pre-elected before faith.

    This is an interesting point. It seems that John the Baptist was pre-elected before faith because he was chosen before he was born. But he was chosen for a purpose. Election is primarily about a mission and a purpose per se. As such, it is helpful to not think of election in terms of “election for salvation”. God chose before time that the elect would be predestined to show forth his glory (Eph 1:12). So it was an election to service. Of course, it should be a logically accepted notion that the witnesses should model the message – and, in the end, gain the reward that the message espouses. But no individual is chosen to be saved before they are born.

    9. Individuals self determine to join themselves to the ELECT which is a corporate body and not individual members.

    In some ways yes. That self determination entails that it is their free will choice that is the final move. There is no coercing force and no one acts outside their will. But by saying that, it doesn’t mean that they make that decision extemporaneously without the wooing of the Holy Spirit and the power present in the gospel. But the decision to follow Christ puts them in the category of the ELECT and they now have work to do. That work does not save them – but if they have no works they may not be saved. Saving belief is accompanied by evident fruit. “Produce fruit in accordance with repentance”.

    10. The condition is set by God in how an individual may come into the elect.

    Yes. Although I would word it “how individuals” – lest one misunderstand me to be conveying that there are different conditions tailor made for each individual. Sorry to get pedantic, but it is so easy for words to be misconstrued in this type of format. There is one condition that all individuals must meet – that being BELIEF.

    11. Individuals are not elected by God either before or after they respond in faith. Jesus is the only one who was elected but the corporate body is the ELECT. Jesus Himself is not the ELECT.

    If this is what you think I believe – it shows what a poor job I have done in trying to explain myself. First of all I don’t believe individuals are elected by God – if you mean by that that He is selecting individuals to be saved. A better way to say it would be “individuals become part of the elect group”. It can create sort of a straw man to infer that God is electing individuals because it really confuses and distorts the matter. A good way to understand it is that God pre-set (before time began) a process whereby one could join the elect. In that sense, it is not helpful to try to imagine a one-by-one election process where God is doing a unique “electing” thing for each individual. Re Jesus, He is the chosen one and we participate in His chosen-ness. Similarly, you could say He is the ELECT one and we participate in His ELECTED-NESS.

    12. Individuals self determine whether they will join themselves

    In some ways yes – although I would be careful to omit any involvement by the Holy Spirit. But in the end, the deciding factor is the free will choice of the individual of whether to follow Jesus or not. Some will have revelation of the truth of the gospel (believe its truth claims even!) – but still choose not to follow because they understand the cost. They are unwilling to give up the pleasures of sin for a season.

    13. God does not elect anyone before or after they have faith, and individuals do not elect themselves. Thus there is no individual election at all. It is a myth promoted by Calvinists.

    It muddies the water to say it the way you do. It is a highly confusing matter if one does not understand the concept of corporate election. But yes, I would agree with this. God conceived a concept of corporate election. Individuals are joined to the category by faith.

    14. Conditional election is only applicable to a thing called the ELECT and never to individuals.

    As it relates to the notion of a condition, how one comes to be joined to the ELECT is conditional upon their faith. The term “conditional election” is vague and problematic. It needs extensive unpackaging before one knows exactly what is trying to be conveyed.

    15. Any other biblical term that would be associated with the term election must be interpreted to mean corporate and not individual. Whosoever then is not “any individual” but a corporate non-individual entity.

    WHOSOEVER, of course, does not carry any kind of non-individual notion – so I would not categorize it in that way. In much of this kind of thinking, it is important to keep in mind the vantage point of the setting being depicted. WHOSOEVER carries a “looking ahead” connotation. So it just means that, as far as individuals are concerned, they are as yet unidentified – and exactly who they are is not important.

    The critical part is that, whoever they are, they must believe. When reading the Bible, we need to consider the vantage point as well. The point there is that individuals in passages and settings there, are speaking from a vantage point of their “present day” and looking backwards. So there are specifically identifiable people who are the elect – because those ones have come to make their faithful decision and can now self-identify as the elect. Therefore, Peter can now say things like “for the sake of the elect” – and have identifiable individuals in mind. It is critical to plot the settings of then and now on a time line to be able to make sense of this. I alluded to this in the article I sent you.

  53. Hi Peter,

    I will answer back point by point so we can continue working for understanding. Under my point #1
    about John the Baptist and his salvation you wrote:

    Correct. But I don’t think it is relevant either way. I see where you are going with your premise but your point is made whether he was saved or not.

    However, this blog was written to refute Calvinism, not to refute you. It makes a huge difference whether John the Baptist was outside the kingdom. I picked one of the people who Calvinists say was definitely one of the elect and who was chosen to be saved unconditionally from long before he was born. So if Calvinism teaches that God picks certain people to be saved and some to be lost, and if John the Baptist is universally admitted to be one of the elect, then would it not make a strong point that Jesus said John the Baptist was outside the kingdom while others were entering the kingdom? If John the Baptist is not in the kingdom does that not put a serious dent into Calvinism’s unconditional election to salvation? If you were a Calvinist and believed as Calvinist’s believe, might Jesus’ words cause you some problems when there was never a reversal of Jesus’ assessment of John’s spiritual condition?

    I appreciate any attempt you make to think outside of the box and into the mind of a typical Calvinist.

  54. Peter,
    I see that you have not answered yet on my response to point #1. You must still be considering my challenge to think outside the box. I will answer point #2 as it is similar to point #1. We can get through all of the points individually and I think that is helpful to gain an understanding on where we are both coming from.

    In point #2 about Judas, you wrote:

    I did not disagree with your article for the most part. Its just that I am somewhat agnostic as to Judas’ role in our argument. It seemed to me like you pulled him into our argument – but I am not sure why.

    Remember that I brought up my two articles on John the Baptist and Judas because you were my view led to Calvinistic unconditional election. Plus, Judas is specifically mentioned by Jesus at the end of John 6 in His declared reasoning why He spoke the words about people being given to Him by the Father. I believe that when Jesus teaches truth and then says why He taught the truth we need to listen to Him. Judas is a part of Jesus’ argument so it is healthy to consider Judas.

    You wrote:

    Perhaps you think if you can show that there is one unbeliever that Jesus did not try to chase away, it is therefore proof that my premise fails? We could go round and round on the question of whether or not Judas believed – but I don’t think we will get anywhere.

    I strongly believe that the revelation that Jesus gives is the most important in determining truth. A biblical premise must have a foundation in the revelation of God’s Word or it is just an assumption based on human reasoning. Jesus not only calls Judas a devil in John 6, but in His prayer in John 17 He states that Judas had already perished and that was before he betrayed Jesus.

    John 17:12 “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

    You wrote:

    Does that mean he never believed in a way that could save him if he had persevered? I don’t know. It is a conjecture filled argument.

    Well, I believe that Jesus knew. It is said in John 6 that Jesus knew from the beginning who were unbelievers and He knew who it was who would betray Him.

    John 6:64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.

    If Jesus then called Judas a devil long before it entered his heart to betray Jesus, then I accept that witness. Judas perished and there is no indication that he repented of his sin and put his faith in Jesus. He just walked away and took his own life.

    I find that reading the revelation of Jesus in the Word of God really helps me to have a biblical argument against Calvinism that stands strong.

    You wrote:

    I don’t believe in OSAS – but perhaps you do.

    I do not believe that in OSAS.

    I will wait to hear back from you on your thoughts on these two points and then we can move on to the next one.

  55. Sorry – I am in Japan right now so was away from the computer for a while. IF you are right about John the Baptist’s status as an unbeliever, then you have a strong case. I am of the opinion that it is not a strong case. When Jesus uses John’t role as the greatest prophet of the OT era juxtaposed against the least person in the new covenant kingdom, he is not focusing on John there – rather using an example of the best of one thing being less than the least of another. THAT is his intended meaning. In hermeneutics, if we try to draw a truth out of a text that the author is not making, there is no authority on that interpretation. I could similarly say to you that Elijah was not a believer because of his wavering.

    The reason I suggested that John the Baptist and Judas were not really relevant to our discussion is because they aren’t – in OUR discussion. I do understand that they are important to your argument with Calvinists. But the fact of the matter is that we are approaching that false doctrine from different angles (at least as it pertains to John 6). So our discussion is centered around the notion of the Father’s drawing. Given that I don’t support your idea of an ongoing drawing, I will naturally want to drop the other stuff – particularly the point you are making about John the Baptist. This is a passage that Calvinists to prove irresistible grace – more than unconditional election, although the 2 do tie together.

    Re Judas, I think I made myself clear there, and made a good point – the main thing being that just because Jesus knew the purpose that Judas served, and in that regard, knew that Judas needed to keep following him – when the others didn’t. Whether or not Judas had a knowledge of the truth of who Jesus was (whereas the others definitely did not) is immaterial to my premise – as I see it. I will point out that in John 17, a good case can be made for Judas as being included in the group of those given to Jesus by the Father. If you read the text, it seems that he was included but he was lost whereas the others weren’t.

    I strongly believe that the revelation that Jesus gives is the most important in determining truth. A biblical premise must have a foundation in the revelation of God’s Word or it is just an assumption based on human reasoning.

    It is a given, though, that the words of Jesus hold authority – at least as it regards our discussion. We have a common ground which allows us both to appeal to the scriptures. If one of us denied the authority of the Bible, it would be a show stopper. But the fact of the matter is that both of us will say that our premises have a foundation in the revelation of God’s word. Where assumption and human reasoning come in, though, is why these discussions arise in the first place. If things were crystal clear, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. However, because they are not clear, I could just as easily turn your argument around and point it back at you. IOW you are assuming that your reasoning is lacking assumption and human reasoning whereas mine is not. For example, if you believe in the doctrine of the trinity, and I don’t (I do for the record), I could insist that because the term isn’t clearly stated in the word of God, I am rejecting your claims based on the fact that Jesus does not state “I am God”, or the word “trinity” is nowhere to be found in the Bible. I reject your claims and maintain that I only go with the clear revelation of the word of God. Just for the record, that kind of response can TEND to come across as a patronizing one. Not saying that is the case with you but just saying…

    If I set my standard of proof so high that it disallowed any further discussion, almost zero progress could be made in these matters. But, given that things are not always spelled out as clearly as we would like (and aberrant doctrines arise as a result of that) we are left with reasoning. Hopefully, it is not mere HUMAN reasoning as you mentioned – rather it is good, solid, Holy Spirit-enlightened reasoning. I feel really satisfied by the reasoning that allows me to accept that the ones that the Father gave Jesus were OT regenerate Jews and the care involved was a for-a-season situation, and therefore is not something that is occurring today. In that regard, I feel that most Calvinists, if they accept the argument as revealed in John 17, will see no need to continue to cling to an ongoing “giving of the Father”. IOW once they see how their misreading of the text led to an erroneous notion, they should reject the whole notion – and should feel no need to adopt a hybrid model.

    I made this comment on another blog:

    I have noticed a trait that seems particularly particular to Calvinism. Even when it is pointed out that the contextual reading of a passage should alter their understanding of what they thought the passage is saying, they will carry their original misunderstanding back into the passage – all done to insist that they weren’t misguided in the first place.
    So, a cycle of error becomes evident. Instead of starting from the beginning and starting the process of re-thinking the intended meaning of a passage, they determine NOT to discard their original interpretation which was arrived at by way of a mistaken understanding of what the author meant.
    This is evident in John 6. The context reveals that this is a descriptive matter that pertains to a specific people to whom Jesus was making specific argumentation. He is NOT disclosing a universal teaching that will be authoritative across the church age.

    Hope that helps.

  56. Peter, you are a LONG way from home!

    You wrote:

    IF you are right about John the Baptist’s status as an unbeliever, then you have a strong case.

    I appreciate you saying this. If each point I made is valid in the context and with Jesus’ words, it is a very strong case.

    You wrote:

    When Jesus uses John’t role as the greatest prophet of the OT era juxtaposed against the least person in the new covenant kingdom, he is not focusing on John there – rather using an example of the best of one thing being less than the least of another.

    IF this was correct then everything else that Jesus said would make no sense. Jesus puts John into the greatest of a category including all.

    Luke 7:28 “I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

    If Jesus wanted to limit this group to just prophets and John was the best prophet, His words far exceeded a limited group. And, if Jesus is just comparing different groups, then it makes no sense what Jesus said directly to John. In Luke 7:22 Jesus partially quotes from Isaiah 61:1. Right after that Jesus says that the one who is blessed is the one who does not take offense at Him. The term for offense is not a term of comparing two righteous groups. Why is John told there is a blessing for not taking offense after his doubt was openly declared to Jesus and the crowd? I think that Jesus again hits the nail on the head. Isaiah 61:1 is a bombshell as far as John the Baptist is concerned.

    Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

    This is a prophecy of the Messiah and note that the Messiah is said to bring FREEDOM TO THE CAPTIVES. Where was John? In prison. John would have known the prophecies about the Messiah and the role that he was to play in announcing the Messiah. Now that he was in prison, would the verse that Jesus quoted from have been important to him? He was a captive that needed to be freed but Jesus never helped him,. In fact when Jesus heard that John was in prison he did not go to John but he instead with into Galilee.

    Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee;

    Jesus had told John’s disciples to take a message to him. Jesus was doing all the miracles from Isaiah 61:1 but He was not setting John the prisoner free. Jesus’ quote and the admonition to not be offended because of Him was and indication that John was offended because Jesus was helping others but not freeing him as a special messenger of His.

    In your view there is no explanation for the spiritual importance of faith vs offense.

    Lastly, John the Baptist was not in an “older” group, but he was in the time of the gospel.

    Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

    The end of the Law and the Prophets was the coming of John. John was in the new covenant time and John preached the gospel of the kingdom.

    You wrote:

    In hermeneutics, if we try to draw a truth out of a text that the author is not making, there is no authority on that interpretation.

    Everything that Jesus said has meaning. If you are going to draw the meaning of a comparison of two righteous groups (OT prophets and those entering the kingdom), then you have to explain the words and quote of Jesus. None of it makes any sense and we cannot just ignore the words in the inspired text. Jesus said His words for a reason.

    You wrote:

    I could similarly say to you that Elijah was not a believer because of his wavering.

    I do not know what you are talking about. So God the Father speaking directly to John the Baptist and giving John the greatest witness of the Messiah that any man has received, and John seeing the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus, is now rejected by John and this is to be compared to what from Elijah so that you call him an unbeliever?

    You wrote:

    The reason I suggested that John the Baptist and Judas were not really relevant to our discussion is because they aren’t – in OUR discussion. I do understand that they are important to your argument with Calvinists. But the fact of the matter is that we are approaching that false doctrine from different angles (at least as it pertains to John 6). So our discussion is centered around the notion of the Father’s drawing.

    The issue is drawing but more so the giving to Jesus. Jesus concludes the passage with His reason for His words spoken precious in the chapter. Unbelief is tied directly into His words “no one can come to Me unless”

    John 6:64–65
    64“But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
    65And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

    You wrote:

    This is a passage that Calvinists to prove irresistible grace – more than unconditional election, although the 2 do tie together.

    I do not believe that John 6 is about unconditional election and I do not believe that it is about irresistible grace for unbelievers.

    You wrote:

    Re Judas, I think I made myself clear there, and made a good point – the main thing being that just because Jesus knew the purpose that Judas served, and in that regard, knew that Judas needed to keep following him – when the others didn’t.

    Judas didn’t need to keep following Jesus to betray Him. When you say the “purpose” that Judas served, that comes across as if you accept unconditional election.

    You wrote:

    Whether or not Judas had a knowledge of the truth of who Jesus was (whereas the others definitely did not) is immaterial to my premise – as I see it.

    Peter confessed what the disciples believed:

    John 6:69 “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”

    While Peter says “we have believed”, Jesus immediately showed that one of the disciples was not part of the “we” that believed. Jesus said:

    John 6:70–71
    70 Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”
    71 Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.

    You wrote:

    I will point out that in John 17, a good case can be made for Judas as being included in the group of those given to Jesus by the Father. If you read the text, it seems that he was included but he was lost whereas the others weren’t.

    In John 17:12, Judas is show as the exception. The fact that Judas was identified as a habitual thief, he was identified as his heart known to Jesus “from the beginning”, that he was personally indwelt by Satan twice, and one who was said to be a devil and already was a “son of perdition” and already “perished”. Judas was not “given” to Jesus because Judas was never a repentant believer, but an unrepentant, habitual sinner. Judas was “lost” for sure, but he was “lost” from the beginning. He was the only unbeliever that Jesus picked as a disciple. He was someone so good at acting the part and so good at stealing with stealth and hiding himself and his sin that none of the other disciples even considered him as a possible candidate as the betrayer. So look again at John 17:12. Judas is listed as one who is lost but never listed as one given to Jesus as a believer.

    You wrote:

    If things were crystal clear, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. However, because they are not clear, I could just as easily turn your argument around and point it back at you. IOW you are assuming that your reasoning is lacking assumption and human reasoning whereas mine is not.

    If you look at my Biblical reasoning, I quote the Scripture and use the exact words it says. I do agree that some of these things are not easy to see at first because we come with assumptions. We may excuses for John the Baptist because we like him and do not want to see him as an unbeliever because he has been such a powerful preacher of the gospel. However, I have taught classes where people originally rejected what I said and I brought out all the things that John the Baptist knew. We all looked at the list of things that the Bible says and the words that John spoke. We looked carefully and then we compared this to the words brought to Jesus of his doubt. Every single person saw it. They all said that he had NO reason to doubt the Father’s testimony about Jesus. They saw that Jesus’ words back to John had meaning. They saw that no change in John’s doubt was given and no change in his place outside the kingdom is given. It was a very sobering moment for them. What they said to me was that it was much easier to see when everything said about John was put in one place at one time. It then became very obvious to them and they acknowledged that what John said to Jesus in a very public manner through John’s disciples was a terrible thing to say by one who had been taught by the Father and given information to believe than anyone. It was clear and plain to them at that moment and they were very sad for John. They also realized that they too must do something with what they have been given because all of us are accountable to believe. The testimony about John is clear for anyone who is willing to hear the hard message of accountability and personal responsibility.

    You wrote;

    If I set my standard of proof so high that it disallowed any further discussion, almost zero progress could be made in these matters.

    All I ask is that you quote the Scripture and show what it says. You tend not to use Scripture inductively, but pick and choose to try to prove a point. You do not go through a passage or point to the grammar. If you wanted to get a point through, you would do well to work through a section and point out what each piece means in relation to the other verses.

    You wrote:

    Hopefully, it is not mere HUMAN reasoning as you mentioned – rather it is good, solid, Holy Spirit-enlightened reasoning.

    The reasoning that the Holy Spirit brings NEVER contradicts the Scripture. And I also believe that we should not ignore parts of the text because we don’t like the implications of that text. Judas is an integral part of John 6 because Jesus made him integrated in the text and the Holy Spirit highlights the words of Jesus as truth. We can leave Judas for the time being, but he will inevitably come up again in our discussion because Jesus saw fit to make His point using Judas.

    You wrote:

    I feel really satisfied by the reasoning that allows me to accept that the ones that the Father gave Jesus were OT regenerate Jews

    I don’t disagree with you. Where we disagree is that the ones that were included in the future giving of the Father. We also seem to disagree that Judas was not given to Jesus as a regenerate Jew. You believe Judas was a regenerate God-fearing man and I read the Scriptures that say that Judas was a son of perdition, an unregenerate, unrepentant, practicing thief.

    You wrote:

    and the care involved was a for-a-season situation, and therefore is not something that is occurring today.

    You haven’t asked me how I believe this is still occurring today. What I do see is that the Scripture does not outline an “end” to the giving so to attach an “end” would require assumption. That is unless I missed a Scripture that says the Father is no longer giving people to Jesus. I will just accept the on-going nature of the giving and I cannot see how believing that has any negative affect to my faith.

    You wrote:

    In that regard, I feel that most Calvinists, if they accept the argument as revealed in John 17, will see no need to continue to cling to an ongoing “giving of the Father”.

    Calvinists I have dialoged will fight an ongoing “giving of the Father”. They equate “giving” with “unconditional election” and they say that action happened in eternity past. Calvinist scholars do not like the present tense of “giving” and they reject that it has any relevant meaning, preferring to take it as a past action. Perhaps you can point to Calvinist scholars who argue that the “giving” is a present on-going action.

    You wrote:

    So, a cycle of error becomes evident. Instead of starting from the beginning and starting the process of re-thinking the intended meaning of a passage, they determine NOT to discard their original interpretation which was arrived at by way of a mistaken understanding of what the author meant.

    How many times have you been corrected and discarded your original interpretation? Perhaps the Calvinists that you dialog with need more Scriptural work from you to delve deeply into the Scripture to show exactly why the inspired words were used, how they relate to the context, and why the words were included in the text. If you want to change a person’s view you need to use the Scripture more. Then you need to include the context rather than give a conclusion without explaining the passage in detail. People are not persuaded when a person gives a conclusion based on how one thinks the person in the account is feeling rather than the determinative words that person said. I am not persuaded when you try to get into Jesus’ head. If you were to explain what He said to Judas and how that related to His earlier teaching and how the context easily supported the conclusion like fingers going into a glove, you would be far more effective.

    You wrote:

    This is evident in John 6. The context reveals that this is a descriptive matter that pertains to a specific people to whom Jesus was making specific argumentation. He is NOT disclosing a universal teaching that will be authoritative across the church age.

    You have not been successful at showing such a conclusion. If Jesus said “All that the Father GAVE Me will come to Me” you would be far more successful at showing your conclusion. But then so would the Calvinists who believe that the “giving” is a past action of unconditional predestination.

    I will wait to hear if you have comments about this part (the first two sections of my summary) and I will then move on to #3.

  57. There is much that you say that I could respond to but for sake of time, I think I will pull out a few points that I have them most objection to:

    John 17:12 “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled”.

    In this verse, looking at the words of the text, Judas is among the “them” group. Of the members of this group, Judas is the one that was the exception. The “exception” part is not that he is not part of the group. His lost condition was the exception. By saying this, I am not arguing that he was a good man – as you seem to be inferring that I am saying. Its just an observation that cannot be wiggled out from underneath.

    Judas didn’t need to keep following Jesus to betray Him. When you say the “purpose” that Judas served, that comes across as if you accept unconditional election.

    When I use terms like “purpose” I use them as I understand them – not as a TULIPist uses them. God can have a purpose for someone – which says nothing about their salvation and doesn’t guarantee it. Jesus saw something in Judas that caused Him to choose Judas because He knew that Judas would betray him as the scriptures foretold.

    You have not been successful at showing such a conclusion. If Jesus said “All that the Father GAVE Me will come to Me” you would be far more successful at showing your conclusion. But then so would the Calvinists who believe that the “giving” is a past action of unconditional predestination.

    I am able to read the verse – without having to change the grammar. I think this is the crux of our whole discussion. Can you not see that Jesus can speak in present tense language AT THAT TIME – and yet,at the same time, there be a scenario whereby the presentness of that language has an end date? If my premise is correct (and I am fairly certain it is) He is merely telling them that there is an ongoing giving that expires at the time of His death.

    What you are doing is front-loading your assumption that there is a future giving – into the passage. But imagine that you are there at that time. In the context of these ones that are “coming” to Him with wrong motivation, His words indicate that there is an ongoing giving. Since the “giving” is a matter of those ones learning from the Father through His word, there is no reason to reject a notion that more could be given to Jesus by the Father – while He lived. Don’t forget that, in this passage, there is a distinct Jewishness occurring. Jesus is not teaching universal theological truth. If He was, He would be contradicting Himself when He later said that He would draw all men to Himself – as opposed to the Father drawing them. If the Father is no longer drawing, I would make the claim that He is no longer “giving” either.

    Your insistence that the giving continues beyond that time to today, is driven by your rigid insistence that the grammar says it does. But this is circular reasoning. The difference between my premise and yours is that mine fits better with the context (I love context by the way) – and yours is pure speculation driven by a definition of the word “giving” which is outside of the passage and is vague and obscure as to its definition. You need to let go of the Calvinistic influence that has trapped you here. I reject the Calvinist interpretation and I reject yours as well – as it is a hybrid model.

    If you want to change a person’s view you need to use the Scripture more. Then you need to include the context rather than give a conclusion without explaining the passage in detail.

    I am only so happy to use the scripture. I guess that I assumed that you know what I am talking about when I bring up points – in that my points are driven by scripture. The article that I sent you is the result of a more careful reading of scripture. I don’t just read words – I also look for the intended meaning of the author. There is no authority outside that intended meaning. I read and think deeply and do not allow myself to change the meaning of words and verses. If you like, I could give you a massive article on this whole John 6 giving thing – complete with all the quotes, but time is not my friend right now. But if it is better, I will quote more verses from here on.

    I will say though, that this argument is not that complex. Judas and John the Baptist are more of a side bar to the discussion – because they don’t really factor into it.

  58. Peter, you wrote about John 17:12

    In this verse, looking at the words of the text, Judas is among the “them” group. Of the members of this group, Judas is the one that was the exception.

    That is illogical. A person could say a similar statement this way: All the children had ice cream except for little Marcie as Marcie only likes cake. Marcie is one of the children, but is she a part of the “all the children” that had ice cream?

    The fact that there is an exception — that Judas was not under the spiritual care of Jesus even though Jesus met his physical needs — does not place Judas in the group of disciples that was kept safe. I think that you would get this if it wasn’t a point about Judas that you do not want to give up. I think that everyone reading this can see that Marcie cannot be in BOTH groups — the group that had ice cream and the group (she is the lone exception) that did not have ice cream.

    You wrote:

    The “exception” part is not that he is not part of the group. His lost condition was the exception.

    Jesus said “them” not “conditions”. Either Jesus is talking about people or He is talking about conditions. You seem to be arguing above that it is a group of people. You cannot now change the meaning to a thing. Either words mean something or they do not.

    By saying this, I am not arguing that he was a good man – as you seem to be inferring that I am saying. Its just an observation that cannot be wiggled out from underneath.

    It isn’t an “observation”. It is a reinterpretation of the text. A class “wiggle” to get out from the implications of what Jesus said. I see you fighting hard to get out from under what the text says. If you can change the text from people to things such as conditions, what else are you going to change in John 6? That deeply concerns me.

    You wrote:

    When I use terms like “purpose” I use them as I understand them – not as a TULIPist uses them. God can have a purpose for someone – which says nothing about their salvation and doesn’t guarantee it. Jesus saw something in Judas that caused Him to choose Judas because He knew that Judas would betray him as the scriptures foretold.

    Could we say that Judas had a purpose of practiced sin that included deception, theft and would lead him to betrayal? It was his own purpose. Jesus chose one active sinner, knowing Judas’ heart from the beginning that he would betray Jesus. Judas’ purpose was fulfilled by his own actions, and God’s prophecy was fulfilled.

    You wrote:

    I am able to read the verse – without having to change the grammar. I think this is the crux of our whole discussion. Can you not see that Jesus can speak in present tense language AT THAT TIME – and yet,at the same time, there be a scenario whereby the presentness of that language has an end date?

    You are not hearing me. If Jesus used the past tense (all that the Father GAVE Me) with the future tense (WILL come to Me) there would be an end date to the future tense because the giving was already complete. However, you have to make the present tense come to an end without a word from Jesus or the disciples that such an event had concluded. If you turned a blind eye to John 6 and only focused on the past giving of the disciples to Jesus, you would at least have a leg to stand on. Unfortunately, the Bible’s grammar is hard for people when they have a different conclusion. I won’t be misled about the deliberate present tense and no word, not a single one, that limits the giving. If I am wrong, I am willing to be corrected, but you can’t do that by not following through with finding the proper grammar addressed by God in Scripture that sets up an end.

    If my premise is correct (and I am fairly certain it is) He is merely telling them that there is an ongoing giving that expires at the time of His death.

    I am absolutely certain you are wrong. Show me the text either in the gospels or by the words of Paul or any other New Testament author that defines such an end date. I am sure that you need a lot of time to check out all of the text but I will be waiting for that Scripture.

    You wrote:

    What you are doing is front-loading your assumption that there is a future giving – into the passage.

    The meaning of present tense from Logos Bible software:

    https://mmoutreach.org/tg/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/present-tense.jpg

    “present — The verb tense where the writer portrays an action in process or a state of being with no assessment of the action’s completion.

    Heiser, M. S., & Setterholm, V. M. (2013; 2013). Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology. Lexham Press.”

    If you want to correct the Morpho-Syntactic Database, perhaps you can explain your credentials to do that.

    You wrote:

    Since the “giving” is a matter of those ones learning from the Father through His word, there is no reason to reject a notion that more could be given to Jesus by the Father – while He lived.

    Jesus said that the learning from the Father happened first, then they came to Jesus.

    John 6:45 “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

    You wrote:

    Don’t forget that, in this passage, there is a distinct Jewishness occurring. Jesus is not teaching universal theological truth. If He was, He would be contradicting Himself when He later said that He would draw all men to Himself – as opposed to the Father drawing them. If the Father is no longer drawing, I would make the claim that He is no longer “giving” either.

    That is illogical. Jesus is not restricted from drawing all to Himself because the Father draws people to Jesus.

    You wrote:

    Your insistence that the giving continues beyond that time to today, is driven by your rigid insistence that the grammar says it does. But this is circular reasoning.

    I am saying that the grammar shows that the giving was ongoing. If the grammar has changed, then you can show that to me. To read into the Bible a change in the ongoing nature described by Jesus without a single piece of evidence is presumptuous. What other grammar do you have to change to make your view work? I don’t need to change the grammar at all. The grammar speaks for itself and if God has revealed an end date I am happy to believe that because I am more interested in truth than supporting something that is not truthful.
    Again, find the proof, show it to me and we can be on the same page. I do not argue with the inspired word.

    You wrote:

    You need to let go of the Calvinistic influence that has trapped you here. I reject the Calvinist interpretation and I reject yours as well – as it is a hybrid model.

    If you can’t see that the present tense absolutely refutes the Calvinist view that predestination was from eternity past, then I am not sure that I can help you much.

    You wrote:

    I am only so happy to use the scripture. I guess that I assumed that you know what I am talking about when I bring up points – in that my points are driven by scripture. The article that I sent you is the result of a more careful reading of scripture.

    I am full up right now trying to keep up with the work that I have to do. How about you try to work in Scripture in this format with the passage we are discussing?

    You wrote:

    I don’t just read words – I also look for the intended meaning of the author.

    The intended meaning of the author is in the words. It is also in the grammar. And the intended meaning is in the words and grammar of the context. That is the foundation.

    You wrote:

    I will say though, that this argument is not that complex. Judas and John the Baptist are more of a side bar to the discussion – because they don’t really factor into it.

    Judas absolutely factors into John 6 because Jesus Himself brings Judas in. Judas is not a side bar, he is a “this is why I said this” main point. And consider this that John 6 is avoided by a lot of Christians because they find it confusing and tough. Calvinists too have a difficult time with the grammar because it does not fit their Calvinist glasses. So while you may think that John 6 is not complex, it may be because you have taken out some of the complex things that sideline your argument. If John 6 only makes sense if you leave Judas out, then you may have missed the main road that has the amazing truth of who Jesus is mixed with difficult concepts.

    By the way N.T. Wright who you quote in your paper has gone theologically sideways and redefined a lot of things including salvation, heaven, hell, Adam and Eve, and more. I plan to do a post on whether Jesus’ death was for individuals here on this blog and his concept of people after Adam and Eve not being a direct creation of God probably in our newsletter.

    While you are working on finding the Scriptural proof that the giving has ended, do you want us to go on to the next points?

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