Exodus 3-4 / Psalms 56-57 / Romans 9
It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."
Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
These words should shut down the churches and their activity of trying to get others to adhere to their credo, their so-called "great commission" of trying to get an animal agreement for themselves by the consensus of others adhering to their mythology, the lies about the good gods (jesus god, holy spirit god, father god) versus the bad gods (satan the fallen angel and his army of fallen angel demons) they are trying to convince anyone they can to believe. They promise them eternal survival, which is appealing to the animal that spends its entire life trying to survive in as many ways as possible, so it sits well in that respect. In this passage Paul says that God chooses those to whom His reality will be revealed, so they turn it around to make it say whatever it is they want it to say, just like every other group does that claims to know the way to God.
According to Paul, the humans can't just decide they want to know how to please God and then do it; they must be chosen by God, who must reveal His life and reality to them, and then they can respond or not respond. The idea of a generic calling that the christians of all forms (including the delphs) ascribe to is just not there. But it's all the humans can come up with in the age when God hasn't been choosing and calling anyone on any sort of public scale. All they can do is copy each other's forms of godliness, which none of them have any authentic power, as was felt and lived by people like Paul and the others, before that power left the earth and made it desolate.
What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?
Why is God considered unfair if He doesn't give everyone who feels they deserve it eternal life? That would mean He would have to give it to everyone, because each of the humans, according to how the animal nature works in them, thinks they deserve it. No matter what or who they are or what they've done, they always feel that they are inherently good. So why must God give life to everyone, and isn't it a little funny that everyone feels that they deserve to have it, no matter who they are and what they've done? That is the animal in its own little universe of itself as the god who needs to be worshipped, where no matter who it is, it is always right, because according to itself, it is always inherently good. It always gives itself the break while it sees how those who are not like it, who threaten it or don't support its belief that it is right, should be condemned. If they have the power to kill, that's what they do. If their power is limited to social outcasting, they do that. Anything to protect their little power center of the status quo they've created for themselves is fair game because there's always a good reason to preserve what they've created for themselves, especially when they get the consensus from each other that it's good and right, because they are protecting the entire group. Not accidentally, this is also how a pack of wild apes in the jungle acts.
There is no absolute logic to the animal except its own, and its own relativistic logic always puts it first, each one doing the same thing. Each approves of his own logic, even though it's insane because it's arbitrary and changes in a moment like the springing up and then the destruction of a blade of grass. That is actually how significant a human life must be to God, who shouldn't be expected to keep track of and spread His emotional attachment so thin as to care for each one of them as though each was to Him like His own beloved sons. Yet that is the predominant view about God, because He's so "big" then He must just be like a big love machine—a being without true feelings, being without preference one way or the other about something so important as His own family, those who will presumably be around Him forever.
The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
Did God not choose a specific man to be the ancestor of a specific group of people on the earth to be His people, at the exclusion of all the rest of the people and groups of people? Did He not choose Isaac over Ismael, Jacob over Esau, and Joseph over all of the other 11 sons of Jacob to be with, make great, and preserve the lives of His people? He chose Moses to pull her out of Egypt and begin to deliver her to the land where she would prosper, and then Joshua to finalize that deliverance. He chose the tribe of Levi, over all the other tribes, to be His ministering priests. He chose the judges who repeatedly saved His people from their enemies, and then Saul to be their king. He purposefully undid the choosing of Saul and specifically chose David to replace him. He chose one particular girl, of all the inhabitants in Israel, to carry His firstborn Son. He chose each of the 12 disciples for Jesus to teach them, reveal their true Father to them, and to save them. Jesus specifically chose Saul to be his instrument in the world, to carry out his work, to know and teach other sons about the love of the Father for His family of true sons.
Why then is there so much preponderance toward a generic randomness in the calling and election of God toward those He desires to be His people today? The humans have always assumed that they can just do whatever they want. The entire disease of christian mythology comes from one source—the whore and all her prostitute daughters. How many times has Romans chapter 9 been read then discarded as not actually meaning what it clearly says? How much clearer does Paul need to be regarding being specifically chosen by God, to be elected by Him to be a son of God and brother of the Son of David?
That God chooses His sons specifically & particularly is a difficult thing to understand. It is based on whatever righteous criteria He has, higher than we can figure out. Just because we don't possess the ability to understand, though, doesn't mean it's not true. The scriptures in which the leaders claim to be experts are where we find the evidence pointing to the fact that God has never been random concerning who will be His sons. It does say however that He is hidden from the humans and cannot be figured out, that when they conspire together to try to make a highway or a tower reaching to God their efforts become thwarted.
Man does not decide who will be in God's secret family. That's not what we see, though, as working models of how salvation is attained according to these same experts in churches and ecclesias all over the world. Instead the criteria for salvation, who will "go to heaven," or who will "be in the kingdom," seems to be based on a few things, calculable to man—yet arbitrary and meaningless to God because they are for all purposes generic and have nothing to do with the heart of the particular man, by which we know by what Paul says in Romans, all men will be judged. They are things done on the outside, what the humans can observe, where they claim lies the way to salvation. That's purely human logic though, and God isn't human, nor does He work in ways that the humans can observe. Just as He kept Jesus invisible from all the humans except 12 of them, He is invisible and secret, and He reveals Himself to those He wants to reveal Himself to—as per the words of the writers of the NT letters who reinforce the words of Jesus, who knew he was chosen by God, as Abraham, Moses and David knew.
"The LORD has not chosen these." Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him (David, the least likely to be chosen according to the humans); he is the one."
Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.
Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
According to the whore and her daughters, the ability to decide who will be sons of God has been taken out of God's hands and transferred to the multitude. Considering God's ultimate purpose for man, this is a ludicrous proposition. The desire of God is to have a family of sons, every one of whom loves and honors their Father more than their very life, who could eventually come to know His great love for them and participate in a relationship with Him, being enjoyable to Him, meaning loving Him in the way of the good son, above all else. If all this is true, then why would anyone think that He wouldn't specifically choose each one of those sons, who He perhaps knew were capable of all that?
Instead the line of actual thinking about who is a son of God goes something like who is worthy to be called a citizen of a country, or a member of a country club. This follows no accidental mode, but the modern notion of democracy as the predominant philosophy of the intelligent and humane. However, in this mind set, God would have to have evolved from some barbaric, unenlightened creator who didn't know what He was doing in the beginning—who actually at one time in history specifically chose His people and purposefully excluded others—to what He presumably is today: fair, honest, democratic, in love with the whole world and everything in it in an extremely generic way. That is what the record says anyway. One source of this idea that the gates of heaven, or the kingdom, are flung wide open to anyone who has the ability to conform, perhaps say they believe or understand some correct doctrine, comes from one of Peter's letters:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
It should be noted that he is speaking to a specific group of people, about whom Peter was certain had been chosen by the Lord, as he himself had also been specifically chosen—not by arbitrary means, or the will of man, or any effort on his part. The Lord didn't just arbitrarily pick some guys off the beach who were fishing, as much as Paul's conversion was random. As if the Lord decided he would strike the next guy who walks up the road to Damascus blind and reveal himself to the guy, whoever he was.
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
This chapter speaks to the fact of there being nothing arbitrary about whom is invited to be a son of God. The sons who are chosen don't need to sit around and worry about whether it's fair or not, but rather how to respond to that call. The parable of the wedding banquet in Matthew speaks firstly to the Jews not necessarily being God's chosen people anymore (however some within could be). But there is a clause at the end that was always kind of murky to me, yet now I understand applies to this idea of choice and election.
It indicates that it's never an arbitrary invitation by God—not anyone could just show up and say "Here I am, and I want to be in the kingdom. I have gone through the proper channels and was assured I would be admitted! I was baptized 'into the truth' and regularly attended meeting. I know that you were not a god before your creation, and the devil is not a fallen angel, and I understand the importance of the land promised to Abraham's seed," etc..
"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.
"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
"For many are invited, but few are chosen."
Chosen to be at the wedding supper of the Lamb, or in the assembly of the firstborn, cannot be an arbitrary invitation based on any man's effort or desire; and definitely cannot be based upon the performance of a set of outward rituals. It cannot be the decision of a group of men who, amusingly ironical to this discussion, have chosen their own selves to be leaders of an ecclesia, about whether or not someone should be disfellowshipped or remain in good standing, meaning in turn (to them at least) right with God or not, saved or not, "gonna be in the kingdom" or not. How crazy is that thinking? Yet it amazingly, according to my experience, is the predominant way of thinking among Christadelphians, known from the intimate experience of holding the sharp end of the stick. Yet off they go every Sunday, trying to renew the agreement they find within themselves, that they are the ones who are right, who exclusively know the way to the Father, and think they control it.
So what about these writings—don't they do the same thing? In the beginning, yes, and the craving to be the one who is right, to satisfy the egotistical component of the animal that still lives in me, still surfaces and wants me to serve it. However, these words are increasingly becoming geared toward a group that hasn't even been established yet, who I think will hear the voice of the Teacher as we have. If we can be of some assistance in helping to illuminate them as to what they are going through, then that is a good thing because they are our true brothers and God's true sons.
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
There must be something in the heart of the man that is redeeming somehow, although I know that we don't possess the ability to understand how the Lord chooses those to whom he will reveal the truth about the Father. Paul seems to indicate that God chose him even before he was born. What is evident is that the choice is God's, not as some kind of mere concept to skirt around the horror—according to the modern mind—that God chooses some over others, that He is not outwardly 'fair' in that regard, that the opportunity to 'be in the kingdom' is not the same for everyone. It was obviously also an issue in Paul's mind or he wouldn't have spent so many words arguing the fact of it being a reality back to Abraham and Moses.
The good news is that we know we have been chosen by the Lord, if we hear his voice, and have the guarantee of that position and promise living in us. But it isn't the voice of the made up gods—father, son and holy spirit—that will save the true sons, nor will those gods lead the sons to their true Father, the only God, with no other gods beside Him. Jesus is only considered as God now because he was brought into God's body, made One with Him, so Jesus wears the name of God like a son wears his father's name. But Jesus was never a god before he was born a human, nor did he exist except in the mind and purpose of God, that the Son would save the family of sons who will all wear their true Father's name.
We know that we do not have to prove anything to any man or group of men, because the evidence that we have already been judged as worthy by the Lord is living in us. The craving for validation from the humans has been alive in us too, and we have sought to have it on numerous occasions—and still do. But we won't get our validation from the humans, because they cannot see it, as we are able to who have been chosen to see with eyes that can see. We know its power for us who believe and have been chosen to know about our position as sons of God, by the information we have secretly received from the voice of the Teacher who is revealing our identities to us, as according to how the Father sees us—not as humans, but His true sons.
It started out one way, when we were first called, and has not diminished but like a living organism it has grown, as the Lord has faithfully tended that life in us to do so, as he promised in the many words he spoke. The outcome of all of this will be that we are useful to our Father, not necessarily that we will do some mighty work of His on the earth (although that may be the case, but remember the angels), but that we will understand who we are, who He is, and share back and forth in His love for us by our love for Him growing. Any work we may do should logically be for the benefit of the family, so that we can learn how to be responsible for another life, a shepherd of His people.
Our greatest purpose will be just knowing, then receiving and giving back a genuine love, in a real way and within the confines of an actual relationship with our new Father. That is the highest thing a human can get, or have, or attain to, or know in this existence—that we can comprehend that He knows and loves us personally, and has chosen us to be the objects of His affection and mercy.
What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—even us, whom he also called?