A Shadow Of A Doubt - Calvinistic Word Games
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"Indeed, has God said..."


"If You are the Son of God..."


Recognize these quotes? One is quoting the serpent in the garden, Genesis 3:1, and the other is quoting the tempter in Matthew 4:3. Both the serpent and the tempter are accredited as being Satan the devil. (Rev. 12:9, 20:2, Matt. 4:5, John 8:44) and these quotes above are the first thing out of his mouth in each instance and perhaps his most powerful attack in each scenario since his power is in the lie (John 8:44, 2 Cor. 12:7, Eph. 6:16, 1 Pet. 5:8). This is what I intend to look at in this article. What Satan did with Adam & Eve and what he tried to do with Jesus (but failed) is get them to doubt something they were previously sure on. To get them to question what was once a given and never disputed. To get them to take their eyes off of God and get them focused on the waves (Matt. 14:29-30). Satan knows he can't alter the word of God (Isa. 55:11) but perhaps he can skew your view of it.


22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! - Matthew 6:22-23


If you can get a person to doubt their own senses, their own eyes, their own hands... well let's just say if this was the case with Thomas then there would have been nothing left to convince him that Jesus was "My Lord and My God!" (John 20:24-29) When Jesus said to Thomas "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing." (John 20:27) it wouldn't have worked because Thomas wouldn't have believed his own eyes or the rest of his senses. Jeremiah refers to such as people who are senseless, who have ears but do not hear, who have eyes but do not see (Jer. 5:21). A person in such state has trouble believing even if miracles are performed in front of them.


Yet this is exactly what is happening in our church today. Predominant Calvinist are discrediting the word of God in the minds of those willing to pay attention by getting them to question the basic things they've known since they first learned how to communicate. When the bible says "world" it means world, when the bible says "all" it means all, yet Calvinist disagree. In darkness (often mislead themselves) they seek to cause you to reconsider such rudimentary knowledge, ultimately causing one to doubt what we learned when our eyes were clear (Matt. 6:22). In similar fashion to Satan they get you to question the word delivered to you in the first place using arguments such as "lost in translation" quoting original Greek and Hebrew (which we'll get in to) or by changing the definition of a word such as "all" of which you've known the meaning of since elementary school. Unfortunately because of their lofty status and because their doctrine has many yay-sayers we are often inclined to consider their position and give attention to these errors.



God is not a God of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33) therefore we can be assured such that incites confusion is not from Him. Paul did not play word games when he wrote under divine inspiration (2 Pet. 1:21), rather he spoke plainly "so that the cross of Christ would not be made void" (1 Cor. 1:17, 2 Cor. 11:6).


I've heard it said that nobody who reads the bible and believes starts out a Calvinist and there is good reason for that. When you believed the Gospel, God gave you the Holy Spirit that moment! (Eph. 1:13). But now that you're a believer you also have a crosshair on your back. Satan is unable to stop the word of God (Isa. 55:11) so he turns his efforts toward us. The battle is real, which is why we are to take up the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10-17).


Take for example the word "world" in the bible.


16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. - John 3:16 (emphasis mine)


Calvinist, in order to fit their staunch 5 point Calvinistic system, have to redefine the word "world" to not include everyone. If it means everyone their 3rd point crumbles and with it their entire Calvinistic (TULIP) system. The 3rd point of Calvinism is what they call 'limited atonement' stating that God does not want to save everyone and therefore Christ did not die on the cross for everyone but only for some who according to them are "elect". This article is not to debate the 5 points of Calvinism (there are other resources for that) but rather I intend to bring to light the word games played by Calvinist in redefining the meaning of the words in the bible to fit their theology, words such as "world" and "all".


Calvinist argue the word "world" in John 3:16 does not mean He loves all who are in the world but they call His love for the world a "generalization". So when God says He loved the world (John 3:16) Calvinist want you to know that doesn't mean He loves everyone in it but rather He loves it as a whole. This means He collectively loves the good and bad in it together, because, by their definition, God loves anything that brings Him glory (see study on God's glory here). Since God, when enacting His justice brings Him glory they conclude that God wanted to create people for wrath, people created for the specific purpose of being condemned. Some Calvinist such as R.C. Sproul Jr, in his book "Almighty Over All" states that "God desired for man to fall into sin...God created sin."


This brings us to the word "all" which is the natural stop for someone who's digging into the bible to see if what Calvinist said in their 3rd point of limited atonement is true. We could argue the word "world" includes all the inhabitants of it (as is backed by 1 John 2:2 and Hebrews 2:9) but a more extensive study would naturally bring us to the word "all" in the bible as there are a plethora of verses that use that word.


The error is this. Calvinist find scripture that says "all" and point where it is used without distinction such as Acts 10:12 and attribute it to being used everywhere in the bible just like that. Yes all is used scripturally in times without distinction but it is also used in areas without exception. Without distinction would be like me saying "all of the country is up in arms over this corona virus". Without exception would be like me saying "all of my cars have current tabs". Both are correct uses of the word all. Consider my corona virus statement, is that an accurate phrase? right now Yes. The date as I update this is 03-20-2020 and I would be hard-pressed to find someone who disagreed with that statement as our country is in turmoil and the stock market has plummeted more than has ever happened in my lifetime. BUT there are many times where scripture uses all without exception which means every single person. For example when Romans 3:23 states all fall short of the glory of God, it means everyone, without exception. All means all. Sometimes it is used without distinction and sometimes it is used without exception, both are used rightly just as we would today. Anyone claiming it's one ditch (without distinction) or the other (without exception) is inserting their presuppositions into it. Let's look verses who's usage of all is without exception.


This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. - 1 Timothy 2:3-4 (emphasis mine)


The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. - 2 Peter 3:9 (emphasis mine)


7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. - John 1:7 (emphasis mine)


11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, - Titus 2:11 (emphasis mine)


10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; - Luke 2:10 (emphasis mine)


30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, - Acts 17:30 (emphasis mine)


28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:28 (emphasis mine)


For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. - 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (emphasis mine)


14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. - 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (emphasis mine)


10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. - 1 Timothy 4:10 (emphasis mine)


Is it getting more difficult to see the word all to not mean all? Keep reading. Looking at those verses alone a person cannot in sound reasoning (Isa. 1:18, Jam. 3:17) conclude that God neither wants nor sent His Son to die for all (meaning, each, every, all parts that make up the whole). "But Ryan, what about the original Greek, perhaps we're missing something there." First, if your language is English, then this is how God brought His word to you (Acts 2:6) and you need not anyone to teach it to you (1 John 2:27). Second, don't allow these deceptions to fester in darkness but rather expose it! (Eph. 5:11). If something is hiding behind the guise of "poor translation from Greek," dig in! The unknown is where the enemy has power. Look at that last verse I quoted above, 1 Timothy 4:10, what is their reason for laboring and striving? Because of their fixed hope on the living God "who is the Savior of all men". Now imagine if the enemy convinced Paul (and everyone represented by "we" at the beginning of that verse) that God is not the Savior of all men, would they or we still be compelled to labor and strive so? Paul was compelled by the love of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14) and was by all means trying to save as many as he could (1 Cor. 9:19-22) always deeply concerned for them (2 Cor. 11:28) even with great sorrow (Rom. 9:2). All of which would have been undermined if Christ was not "the Savior of all men". If the enemy can undermine this premise, if they can get you to question the basics, even your own reasoning, they can essentially nullify your walk with God. If the enemy can loosen the smallest thread then eventually the entire tapestry will unravel (though God is faithful!). If the word you've been taught is under attack, dig in to the word! If someone says the word "all" in Greek doesn't mean the same as we know the word "all" to mean in English, then look at the original Greek word used there and learn it's meaning.


The attack is only successful when it operates within darkness. If there is no darkness, then everything is revealed and there is no question. While God made it clear that right now we do not have total knowledge, in other words, there are some things we are in the dark on, things we cannot see clearly on (1 Cor. 13:12); there is also the "true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man" (John 1:9) the Light which "shines in the darkness" which illuminates the most important fundamentals of Christianity. God has given us His Word! (John 1:1-14) The very same Word which is our sword of the Spirit with which we combat! (Eph. 6:17).


In every verse I quoted in the list above the word "all" is translated from the exact same Greek word pás (Strong's #3956) which by definition means "all, the whole, every kind of". HELPS Word-studies defines it this way:


3956 páseach, every; each "part(s) of a totality" (L & N, 1, 59.24).

3956 /pás ("each, every") means "all" in the sense of "each (every) part that applies." The emphasis of the total picture then is on "one piece at a time." 365 (ananeóō) then focuses on the part(s) making up the whole – viewing the whole in terms of the individual parts.

[When 3956 (pás) modifies a word with the definite article it has "extensive-intensive" force – and is straightforward intensive when the Greek definite article is lacking.]


"All" is a rudimentary word so breaking it down as if it were more complex is like breaking down an element such as Gold into more simple state. Gold means gold and "all" means all. This is further backed by the definition above of the original Greek word used for "all". As you can see it means exactly what we thought it meant. "All" includes all which is "each, every, and each part of a totality". Yes all has been used in scripture similarly to how I used it in my phrase above about the Corona virus. But to conclude that it's used every time like that is a grave error as you can see in the context of these scriptures that all does/did in fact mean all.


Still not convinced. Let's look at where else this exact same Greek word pás (or "all") is used.


but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. - 1 John 1:7 (emphasis mine)


If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9 (emphasis mine)


13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, - Colossians 2:13 (emphasis mine)


This is the same Greek word "all" from the first list of verses. If the word in those verses doesn't mean all then does it not here either? If you believe Christ didn't die for all do you also believe that He hasn't forgiven you "all" your transgressions? See what I'm getting at here. All can and often does mean all without exception. Let me conclude with one more very powerful example from Romans 5.


18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. - Romans 5:18 (emphasis mine)


Paul in this part of Romans 5 is showing how Adam was a type of Him (Christ) who was to come. Paul is showing the similarity between the two in that through Adam's one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men and similarly through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. Because that very same Greek word pás is used for both instances of "all" here then we can conclude that both instances apply in the same way. Either all means everyone in both cases or all means only some in both cases. Because Paul is making this comparison he's actually highlighting this word all, showing how both acts effected everyone universally. If you were to argue that Christ's act of righteousness didn't result in justification of life to all men then you would have to equally argue that Adam's transgression didn't result in condemnation to all men. You can't have one without the other, if you did, not only would you twist the original Greek word to mean different things, but you would completely nullify Paul's entire argument in Romans 5:12-21 (see our more extensive study on it here).


"All" here means all without exception and therefore God loves you (period). Whoever you are God loves you unconditionally and sent His Son to be the propitiation for your sins!


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