Tag Archive | depraved

How can he be clean that is born of a woman?- Job 25:4 + Job 15:14

job

Job 25 (Bildad says…) 4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? 5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. 6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

Job 15 (Eliphaz says…)14 What is man, that he should be CLEAN? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did not always have good advice to give Job. On the contrary, God criticized them for their folly and for not having described him (God) in a correct way. God particularly turns to Eliphaz, but also his friends are included in the criticism. Job, however, is viewed by God as a perfect and upright man who speaks what is right about him, and thanks to Job’s prayers concerning his friends God shows them mercy despite their many trespasses. (It’s important to pray about people because our prayers have great impact!). Fortunately, Job’s friends took the chance to be cleansed and they obeyed God and collected some animals to offer up to him with the aim to be cleansed from their sins. Wherever there is true repentance, there is a chance to be forgiven.

Job 42:7 And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job.10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.—8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

When we read the Bible, it’s important to pay attention to who says what to whom, why and in what circumstances. The questions in the beginning are addressed to Job by his friends, in response to Job’s conviction that he has not been guilty of any trespasses of God’s law. So we can read the views of Job’s friends in our Bible, but their views are of course not the same as God’s views . Also comments from Satan can be read in the Bible, so it’s risky to just take a verse out of context and assume it’s the view of God. We already know that there are several righteous people described in the Bible (Abraham, Lot, Enoch, Noah, Simon, Paul, etc), so Job is certainly not alone.

The great concern among Job’s friends seems to be to convince him of his guilt before God, and that man in general is naturally unrighteous. This is the same story as we often hear today – the claim that we can never be righteous before God, unless he looks at us through Jesus as a filter, and that we can never successfully avoid sins. Below we can read that Job clothed himself with righteousness by helping the poor, the fatherless, the helpless and the widows. He was eyes to the blind, feet to the lame and father to the poor, and he sorted out problems to people he didn’t even know. Job was perfect, upright and righteous because he showed his faith in God by doing good deeds and avoiding sin. He loved his neighbor as himself! No one else was righteous for Job or instead of him, but he himself acted in a righteous way. God would never consider us righteous unless we also lived holy and righteous lives.

Job. 29:12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

Job was perhaps not always right in his ponderings about the big questions in life (he repented when he realized that he had strayed in his thoughts and when it dawned on him how mighty God really is, and the magnitude of his wisdom), but it’s not a sin to ask God questions, nor to be sad, puzzled, bewildered and to honestly confess before God that things seem unfair – at least from our own perspective. However, it would be a sin to blame God for the evil things that happen in this world, and for wrongdoings and unrighteousness within man. If there are things we don’t understand and if we feel that we’re in despair, it’s not a sin to express our feelings before God, and neither is it wrong to ask him for advice why things are as they are. It’s good to ask for advice, as long as we don’t blame God for something he is innocent of. Sometimes it’s beneficial for us to face obstacles, because they can often make us seek God more deeply, and there is a lot of truth in the saying ”whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth”.

In the book of Job, God is mostly having a dialogue with Job himself, but God’s criticism concerns man in general. When God explains his magnificent creation, Job is learning and his questions are being answered. He can see things more clearly and he finally understands the big picture and God’s mighty ways. Job says ”I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear but now mine eye seeth thee”. It started with much suffering and pain, but Job ended up having a much greater contact with his Lord. Job also received much blessings and continued to live multiple years on earth, but the most important goal in life is to live a life which is pleasing to God, love others as yourself and make sure your soul is saved.

Job 40:1 Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said,2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.3 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

Job 42:1 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

If none would be born ”clean”, that would apply also to Jesus since he too was born by a woman.

Job 14:4 ”Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.”

The whole sense of what Job is saying is that no one can bring other than frail and dying offspring from frail and dying parents. If this text teaches that a sinner invariably produces another sinner, then Mary, the mother of our Lord, was also born a sinner. So if Job 14:4 really does teach that a sinner must produce another sinner, there could be no way of escaping the blasphemous conclusion that Jesus also was born a sinner. Also note that not everything you read in Job can be taken literally, since many poetic expressions are used:

Job 1:21 Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither

Do read also this article Rom. 3:10, concerning the righteous man Paul who quotes a few psalms which suggest there is no one righteous…

The Bible does not teach that we are born DEAD in trespasses and sins

grav2To base an entire philosophy/theological doctrine on the idea that man is born naturally depraved and unable to seek God or make morally good decisions, is risky to say the least. If we are BORN dead and depraved, then this should have been stated in the Bible, and in a very clear language, but we find the opposite to be true.

The words ”depraved” and ”depravity” are not even Biblical words (KJV) so we must first figure out what reformed believers might mean with those words when they claim we all start out naturally depraved, and we must also figure out if we have an obligation to side with their particular interpretation. Note that I’m not saying that something cannot be true only because the words are not present in the Bible, but if neither the words nor the concept can be found in the Bible, then it’s likely not something we must believe is true. Maybe it’s better to focus on the word ”dead” since we can find this word in the Bible, and in that way get a clue what it means to be spiritually dead.

Reformed believers often say we can’t do ANYTHING if we are dead, because ”dead is dead” and ”dead and not wounded”, but a physically dead person can’t do anything bad either. He is dead! If a spiritually dead person can’t do anything at all, then he wouldn’t be able to sin either but for some reason the ”reformed” God allows all people (or rather predestines them) to be born into sin and bound by darkness, whereas he only enables some of them to escape this darkness and do good. This doesn’t make any sense at all. Why would a loving God who hates sin prevent most people from seeking him and be morally upright individuals? (And why would he turn around and show wrath towards those who remain in their sins, when he is well aware of that they have no other option?)

Lazarus – a spiritually alive man who died

It’s very common to make a comparison with Jesus’ friend Lazarus’ resurrection that is described in John 11, and suggest that he is a good example of that a dead person must get divine help to come alive and do good. However, if this incident is supposed to show that spiritually dead people can’t do anything at all (and particularly not any good things) then we must ask ourselves why such a good man like Lazarus is selected to be an example, considering that he wasn’t spiritually dead at all but spiritually alive, and a close friend of  Jesus and much loved by him. Also his sisters Martha and Mary were believers of Jesus, which they showed both in words and in actions. It’s interesting that Jesus claims that Lazarus, despite being dead, is only sleeping (v. 11).

John 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

John 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not thereTHAT YOU MAY BELIEVE. Nevertheless let us go to him.” (NKJV)

John 11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

John 11:42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, THAT THEY MAY BELIEVE THAT THOU HAST SENT ME .43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

John 11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and HAD SEEN THE THINGS WHICH JESUS DID, believed on him.

John 11:48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

John 11:53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.54 Jesus THEREFORE walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

Jesus acted (as per v. 40) as though he expected Martha to believe and understand ALL the things that Jesus had previously explained to her, and not only the fact that Jesus is the Messiah and divinely sent by God. However, it looks like Martha had misunderstood certain things that Jesus had told her. Moreover, if people were predestined to believe/not believe (resulting in heaven or hell) before the beginning of the world, then nothing that Jesus would have chosen to say or not say would change the outcome of what is already determined to occur. Yet, we can read that one reason for bringing Lazarus back to life is so that people may BELIEVE in him (Jesus), which turned out to be a successful procedure because many jews did end up believing in Jesus – precisely due to what they SAW with their own eyes. It doesn’t say they started to believe due to having been chosen to believe. Nevertheless, other jews plotted to kill Jesus and THEREFORE Jesus no longer walked openly among them. However, if people are predestined to always act according to God’s will, then there wouldn’t be any reason to take such measures to avoid the jews because it’s not possible to thwart God’s plans in a world where ”predestination” is a rule. If God would have predestined someone to kill Jesus, then this would be the result whether Jesus walked openly among the jews or not.

Dead in trespasses and sins?

It’s always a bad idea to sin and thus be dead in trespasses and sins. Satan LIED and said that sinning will NOT cause spiritual death (which he said to Eve in Eden), but the truth is that trespassing the law – which is sinning – WILL separate us from God and cause spiritual death. We have the opportunity to repent of course.

Sin is the transgression of the law, John says, so that means we are not sinners due to having the nerve to be born but rather the moment we choose to break the law and SIN. If we are sinners already from birth, then John must be incorrect for suggesting that we are not sinners until we break the law of God, and the law of God doesn’t say that it’s a sin to be conceived or to be born into this world. It’s hardly our choice to be born, and why would that be a sin or against God’s will?

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Some christians suggest that we are BORN ”dead in trespasses and sins”, but that is not what the Bible says.

Ephesians 2:1: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Paul explains that the Ephesians in time PAST walked in sin, but he doesn’t expect them to continue like that. Also note that in order to commit the sins that Paul lists, you must at least be an ADULT. Babies are not aware of the law and they are unable to:

  • have a need or reason to be ”quickened”
  • perform TRESPASSES and SINS and through them be dead
  • walk according to the world
  • walk according to Satan (the prince of the power of the air)
  • be disobedient through following Satan
  • walk in the lusts of their flesh
  • fulfill the desires of their flesh
  • fulfill the desires of their mind

We can be labelled either children of God or children of Satan depending on our life styles. We can also read that the ”children of wrath” are also called ”children of disobedience” so it’s clear that in order to fit the bill you must be able to DISOBEY – which is something that babies cannot do. Eph. 2 doesn’t suggest we are BORN as children of wrath, but it provides details for how we can BECOME children of wrath by the way we live. Even the Ephesians WERE dead due to their choice to sin, but thanks to the blood of Jesus, and through their own repentance of their sins, they were restored. Paul says”hath raised us up together”, but that is a picture of our future with Christ, because he continues the sentence with ”in the ages to COME”. We haven’t been elevated yet. Moreover, in Romans 2 we can read about people who obey the law ”by nature”, so apparently we are not born with a sinful nature. You can read more about the gnostic idea of the sinful nature in this blog article.

Col. 2:And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.—13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross

Paul warns the Colossians (and all of us) extensively because there is always a huge risk that we will fall from our salvation due to sin. If we could never risk to go from being spiritually alive to being spiritually dead, then there wouldn’t be any reason to warn true believers the way Paul does. We can become cleansed, regenerated and righteous by confessing our sins and repenting, because then our sins will be blotted out.

Sins/iniquities/transgression of God’s law (same things) have always separated us from God ever since Adam, and continue to do sodeath3

If we sin, we are dead (in trespasses and sins), and then we must seek God, come to him, confess our sins and repent in order to be cleansed and regenerated. Then we become ”born again”, because we are no more spiritually dead.

Daniel 9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Gal. 6:Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, IF we faint not.

The prodigal son is an excellent example of a person who was LOST and DEAD (according to the words of his own Father who is a picture of God the Father), and still capable of making an excellent decision to repent, return to his Father and confess his sins before him. Loads of people say ”but he never ceased to be a son!”, but what does it matter to be a physical son of someone when he is still LOST and DEAD? And quite obviously a person who lives together with prostitutes in unrepentant sin is (during this time) nothing but 100% lost and dead, unless we must believe that heaven will be a place full of unrepentant sinners.

Luke 15: 24 For this my son WAS DEAD, and is ALIVE AGAIN; he WAS LOST, and IS FOUND. And they began to be merry.—30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.—32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was DEAD, and is ALIVE AGAIN AGAIN; and was LOST, and is FOUND.

Again, to base an entire doctrine on something that the Bible doesn’t say is extremely unwise, and especially if this false doctrine necessitates that we erect other false doctrines to save that first one, and which in the end makes God to be the author of sin and very illogical. Are we born depraved and with a sinful nature that makes us sin ACCORDING to God’s will or AGAINST his will?

CALVINISM – the teaching that God is the author of sin and that even babies are sinners

babyCalvinism makes God to be the author of sin, if the calvinist would like to be consistent with his own doctrines. Some in fact do try to be consistent and claim that the most hideous deeds you could ever think of are still predestined by God because ”nothing happens against the will of God”. To be consistent they must also believe that 1 month old babies can sin, and even unborn babies!

Thanks to Jesse Morell for the below

Calvinism grieves my heart and it disturbs me to see so many Calvinistic posts on Facebook and Calvinistic materials and preachers being so popular in our day. Scriptural problems I have with Calvinism:

1. Calvinism says that God decreed all sin when the Bible says sin breaks the heart of God and wills holiness and obedience from His subjects.

2. Calvinism says that men are under the wrath of God for the sin of Adam when the Bible says that the son does not bear the iniquity of the father and we will all give an account for our own deeds.

3. Calvinism says that man’s free will was lost by Adam’s original sin when the Bible never says this but instead continues to appeal to man’s free moral agency after Adam’s fall.

4. Calvinism says that all men inherit a sinful nature from Adam when the Bible never even says that Adam’s nature was sinful but instead asserts that God forms our nature in the womb.

5. Calvinism says that all events are the eternal will of God when the Bible represents God as grieved, disappointed, and surprised over many events that have occurred.

6. Calvinism says that God has irresistibly decreed all events from eternity past, when the Bible says that God has canceled and reversed some of His own prophecies and teaches that the future is not yet entirely fixed and settled.

7. Calvinism says that God has given man a moral law which He is incapable of keeping when the Bible says that God is just, never allows us to be tempted above our ability, and only obligates us to love Him with all of our ability.

8. Calvinism says that Jesus Christ came and took our punishment when the Bible says that our punishment is eternal hell.

9. Calvinism says that Jesus Christ came and paid our debt when the Bible says that God forgives us our debt.

10. Calvinism says that Jesus Christ took the punishment of our sins when the Bible says that God forgives us our sins.

11. Calvinism says that Jesus Christ came and took the wrath of God when the Bible says that God still has wrath after the atonement, that sinners are not saved from God’s wrath until conversion, that the atonement was instead a justification of His mercy, and that believers who return to their sins return to the wrath of God.

12. Calvinism says that Jesus Christ became sinful and guilty on the cross when the Bible says He died the just for the unjust and offered Himself without spot or blemish to God.

13. Calvinism says that those for whom Christ died can never perish when the Bible warns that those for whom Christ died can perish.

14. Calvinism says that Christ only died for a few elect when the Bible says that Jesus died for the world and all men.

15. Calvinism says that God wants most sinners to remain in their sins and die and go to hell, to somehow glorify His justice, when the Bible says God wants all men to repent and be saved.

16. Calvinism says that men cannot repent and believe when the Bible commands men to repent and believe and blames them if they do not.

17. Calvinism says that men cannot repent and believe because they are born spiritually dead because of Adam when the Bible says that men are dead or alienated from God because of their own trespasses and sins and says the prodigal son was able to return to the father even though he was dead to the father.

18. Calvinism says that God predestined individuals for heaven or hell when the Bible says that God has chosen to offer salvation to the Jews and the Gentiles, grafting in some and cutting off others based upon their faith or unbelief.

19. Calvinism says that God predestined some for Heaven and most for hell according to the pleasure of His will, when the Bible says that God sent Jesus to die for all, commands all men to repent and believe, is drawing all men unto Himself, is not willing that any should perish, and takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

20. Calvinism says that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers when the Bible says that our faith is imputed as righteousness.

21. Calvinism says that God doesn’t see believers if they sin, but see’s imputed righteousness instead, when the Bible says God is omniscient and nothing is hide from His eyes.

22. Calvinism says that true believers will persevere unto the end when the Bible exhorts believers to persevere, warns of damnation if they do not, and speaks of some who have departed from the faith.

My list can go on and on but these are just some of the major points.

Do read this article how calvinism can creep into our church unnoticed

SIN is what you DO, and not what you ARE!

We are NOT born with a sinful nature, and we are not born depraved and unable to do good

We don’t have to sin

We are guilty because we could obey God but chose not to

There is no such thing as ”once righteous always righteous”

We are NOT saved by faith alone

We must repent and DO righteousness

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Mike Desario makes an excellent explanation how christians are watering down the gospel by teaching that no one can ever stop sinning, and that we must sin until we die. Being tempted is not a sin.

Response to Tony Miano’s Article at Carm.org about Mark Cahill

Response to Tony Miano’s Article at Carm.org on Mark Cahill (CALVINISM) – Kerrigan Skelly

The unchristian attack by Tony Miano against some innocent christian brothers was so nasty and hypocritical, so I’d like to take the opportunity to display the rebuttal/defense also here on my Blog. Also check the article here by Jesse Morell in the same matter.

I’d also like to warn others from the website http://www.carm.org where the article was found. The website contains lots of truths, but sadly mixed with heresy since the founder Matt Slick promotes calvinism here and there. Calvinism is based on TULIP and you can read more about what TULIP stands for here. TULIP maligns the character of God by directly or indirectly making him the author of sin. I write this warning because I love calvinists and I hope they will turn away from their gnostic teachings and find the one true God whose son died for ALL. We will never know how many people have been absorbed by carm.org and and lost their ways into the false doctrine of calvinism.

From pinpointevangelism:

God’s will is not always done – Bible verses

Bible verses which show that God’s will can change depending on man’s actions

Man’s free will is even more obvious in the Bible than the trinity (which is VERY obvious) and we can be read about man’s free will from the first page of the Bible to the last. Below are just a few examples. One would think that the obvious FACT that people so often have hardened their hearts against God and rebelled against Him, would be proof enough that God’s will does not always happen, but strangely enough there are people who don’t feel this is clear at all. Believe it or not, but they believe that God predestines/causes/forces/decrees people to rebel against him! If this is true, then we would just be doing God’s will by being wicked and rebellious, and we really should be rewarded for doing His will instead of getting punished for something which is totally out of our control. The word ”sovereign” is not in the Bible (KJV) but isn’t our Lord powerful enough to create man with free will? Or is this too difficult for Him? Wouldn’t God be in control even though man has free will? The Bible is a book FULL of examples of people who are NOT obeying God, resulting in God’s wrath against them! If man does not have free will, then GOD is to be blamed for our actions. If we are born ”totally depraved” as some think (another unbiblical expression) then whose fault is that? Are we ”totally depraved” according to God’s will or against his will? Where did this depravity come from, if not by God? Please close your ”reformed” type of books with all kinds of gnostic claims which deceive you, and open up your Bible and see what it says. If I go for a walk with my dog and decide to let it loose for a  while, can we say that the dog has overpowered me and made me lose control over it against my will? Did the dog remove some of my sovereignty? Did I lose control over the situation even though I’m well aware of the likely behavior of my dog, including the tiny risk that it might find a rabbit and chase it?

New Testament

Matt 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:21Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Matt 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

Matt 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

Matt 17:17 Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?  

Matt 15:6 …And you voided the commandment of God by your tradition.

Matt 23:37.O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how  often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Mark 7:13 making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have delivered. And you do many such things.

Mark 3:35 whosoever shall DO THE WILL OF GOD, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him

Jn. 7:17 Jesus said, If any man will do his will

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 

Acts 8 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness 

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,—: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

1 Tim. 5:12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.

1 Thess 4 brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you OUGHT to walk and to PLEASE GOD.. Therefore he who rejects this does not REJECT man, but GOD, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, BUT to the will of God.

2 Cor 5: 19 God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though GOD WERE PLEADING through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, BE RECONCILED TO GOD.”

1 John 2:7 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

Old Testament

Zechariah 7: 11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. 12Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. 13Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts: 

Exodus 13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt

Numbers 14:27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me?

Hos. 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children

Isa. 5:Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

Isa.1:2 I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me?

Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured...

Isa.66:3 Regarding those who would not hearken to the Lord, God said ”I gave them up unto their own hearts lust: and they walked in their own counsels

Gen. 6:5 it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth

Exodus 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people

1 Samuel 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

Lev 26:23 IF YOU WILL NOT be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; THEN will I also walk contrary unto you.”

Jeremiah 8:5Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. 6I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. — 9The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? 

Jeremiah 15:6 Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting evil that I thought to do unto them.

Jeremiah 26:3 If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.

Jeremiah 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech;which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Jeremiah 42:10 If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.

Eze:33:11-16 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then THEY turn from their sins and do what is just and right. If the wicked restores the pledge, gives back that which he has stolen, walks in the statutes of life, WITHOUT SINNING; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.”

Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

Ezekiel 36:32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: BE ASHAMED and confounded FOR YOUR OWN WAYS, O house of Israel.

Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; andGod repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Ps. 81:11. Yea, they have chosen their own ways

Ps. 7:9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heartGod judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Ps. 78 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. 

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. 

Theological Development Through the Scriptures (from PinPoint Evangelism)

Genesis 2:19
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them

From this passage, what was God’s reason to bringing the animals to man? It appears by the language used, God didn’t know what Adam would in fact name each animal; this appears to be the point being made.& is correct, then this could not be the actual reason why God performed this act, and the wording of Scripture becomes vague.

Genesis 18:20-21
The  outcry  against  Sodom  and Gomorrah is so great and their sin  so grievous that  I will  go down and see if what they gave done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me.  If not, I will know.

This verse is truly a stumper if absolute foreknowledge is true. God himself states quite openly that he will do something (go down) in order for him to know something. Now did he know it before he went or not?  How can God use the future tense when addressing his knowledge?  To say that God already knew but the wording is just saying that he will also know in the future does violence to language not to mention that it is stating the obvious. God uses language as we do.  To do anything else would be utter folly. How could God faithfully communicate with man if he pulled a Clinton speak.  If God’s word usage is different that ours is, we  have a communication dilemma of the first order. (The analysis of this story provides wonderful insights into God’s nature and will be the subject of another paper altogether.)

Genesis 22:12
”Do not lay a hand on the boy“, he said. “Do not do anything to him.  Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Here again God states that he has just learned something.  Some scholars try to get around this by stating that the angel who delivered this message was interjecting his own opinion. Well if this is the case, then Abraham didn’t withhold his only son from the angel.  This is clearly preposterous, but it shows the length that theologians will go to in order not to change their theology.  God tested Abraham to know what he would do.

Exodus 4:8
Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground.

They MAY believe!  Why is God giving Moses all of these contingencies?  If God knew exactly how the Egyptians were going to react, then these instructions make little sense. Was he trying to give Moses the false belief that He didn’t know exactly how things were going to turn out? Remember that this is God instructing Moses. This sounds like plan A, B and C.

Exodus 13:17-18
When  Pharaoh let the people  go, God did not lead them  on the road through the Philistine country, though that was  shorter.  For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. This passage seems to let us in on God’s deliberation of how he is going route the nation of Israel.  It clearly says that the reason God didn’t take the most direct route was that the people “might” turn back. Here we see that God knows and inderstands the people’s hearts and their “probable” reaction to a war at this point, but clearly the outcome is not certain. Remember, this is God speaking as it is in quotation marks. God made the people take the long route through the desert because he was not sure of what the outcome would have been had he not.

Exodus 16:4
In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.

Why does God test us?  Theologians say that it is for our sakes and not God’s. This is indeed strange.  Do you learn anything in a test, or does that which is already in you become manifest. Clearly the schoolteacher doesn’t expect a student to learn from a test.  A test is to determine what a student already knows.  Now some may say that we cannot relate a school teacher’s knowledge to that of God, and I would indeed  agree.  However, this Scripture appears to correlate the two.  God tested them in order to find something out. Are we going to say that God already knew, but he wanted to stimulate his sense of vision?

Numbers 14:11-12
The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people that me with contempt?  How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?”  I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger then they.

Here we see God asking questions of Moses that we can confidently conclude that Moses didn’t have the answers to. Clearly God knew that Moses didn’t have the answers.  Why then was God making these comments?  Could it be to show his breaking heart?  Why would God ask these questions when he already knew the answer?  The final point is even more curious.  God states emphatically that he will do something that he knew that he would never do.  God didn’t strike them down with a plague, and he didn’t make Moses’s descendants greater and stronger than Abraham’s.  So, if God knew that these were all false statements, were does these lead us?  Did God mislead, lie to, and manipulate Moses?  If you cling to absolute foreknowledge, you are in fact leveling this charge whether you want to or not.

Numbers 14:30
Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Here again we see God reneging on a promise.  Now if God knew when he made the promise that he would not keep it, then he lied to the people. He gave them a false hope that he knew he would later dash to pieces. God even swore with an uplifted hand to do something that he knew he wouldn’t ever do. Where does this leave us?  If this is true, can we ever trust in a promise of God?  Does believing God require more stupidity than faith?

Deuteronomy 8:2
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in you heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.

Here again we bring up the whole testing issue.  This appears to be quite plainly stated.  Does our theology call God a liar?  Why did God humble and test the people?  A forty year long test appears to be a bit over the top if God already knew everything.  If God already knew what was in their heart, then I think God owes the people an apology.

Deuteronomy 13:3
The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Ditto.

Judges 2:22
I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their forefathers did.

Judges 3:4
They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their forefathers through Moses.

Does anyone think that this passage is talking about literal sight?  While this test does involve observation, it is not for observation purposed only.  For completeness however, the Judges 3 passage has a dual purpose as stated by God.  The first was to train the Israelites for battle (v2), and the second was to “see” what they would do as far as obeying God’s command (v4).

I Samuel 23:10-13
David said, ”O Lord, God of Israel, your servant has heard DEFINITELY that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me.  Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to  him?   Will  Saul come down  as your servant  has  heard?   O Lord, God  of Israel, tell your servant.”   And  the  Lord said,  “He  will.”  Again  David asked,  “Will  the  citizens  of  Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will.”  So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.

Now  what  do  we  have  here? David  asks  God two  very  direct  questions  and got two  direct answers.  David asked would the town be destroyed.  God said ‘Yes’.  David also asked would the  people  of the town  give  him over to Saul.   God again  said  ‘Yes’.  However,  none  of his happened.  Didn’t God know what David was going to do?  Was God misleading David?  Upon hearing this, Saul didn’t even go to the town that God said that he would destroy.  Why didn’t David simply throw up his hands and cry, “Woe is me”, when God told him his future?  Why did God tell David how things would be if he in fact knew that they would never be?  How can God say that Saul will go to the town and not be in error when Saul never goes?  Is God lying to David or just “pulling his leg”?  The obvious answer is that if David stayed there, these things would have happened.  David obviously didn’t believe that God’s knowledge of the future was unalterable or he would have just sat there and succumbed to his fate.   No, David knew what God  said would happen if  he  didn’t  change  something.  He also  knew that if  he  did change something, what God said would not happen and would be invalid.  The future is open!

I Kings 20:42
“This  is  what  the  Lord  says:  ‘You  have  set  free  a  man  that  I  had  determined  should  die, therefore, it is your life for his life, your people for his people.’”

God  determined  something  knowing that there was  no  possible way of it happening?   Also, “therefore” is a contingent word, but if God knew absolutely that he would spare the king, then there is no contingency about this or any other act.  God simple determined that he should die, and made up this scenario to justify his actions.  This is clearly a false statement, but what else could this mean?

II Chronicles 32:31
But when the envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

Again, wrongo!  God didn’t leave him to know anything!  What kind of radial theology is this! God already knows everything from eternity, from before the foundations of the world!  We need to rewrite the Bible and take out all of this bad theology and these misleading passages.

Jeremiah 3:7
I thought  that  after  she  had  done  all  this  she  would  return  to  me  but  she  did  not,  and  her unfaithful sister Judah saw it.

This passage appears to have God admitting to a mistake in his knowledge. Was God mistaken? What about absolute foreknowledge of all future events, how could this be?  How can God think one thing  about the  future, be incorrect, and still  have  absolute  foreknowledge of all future events?

Jeremiah 3:19
I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me.  But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of  Israel, declares the Lord.

What!  We have found another passage that needs to be expunged from the Bible!  Clearly the thought of God being mistaken about the future acts of man cannot be true!  Heresy, I say!

Jeremiah 7:31
They have build the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire – something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.

Jeremiah 19:5
They  have  built the  high  places  of Baal to  burn their  sons in the fire as offerings to Baal  – something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.

Jeremiah 32:35
They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though  I  never commanded,  nor did it enter my mind, that they  should  do  such  a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.

All of these verses state the same thing.  Now I will be serious for a moment. God states that this thought ever entered his mind.  What can this mean except God did not think that man could stoop to  such  a level as to  do this horrendous thing.  Will you accept what God says about himself in his Word, or will you refuse to believe it, instead clinging on to what man’s tradition has told you is an attribute of God? Remember that the only concept of God that is correct is one that can be determined through the Scriptures.   Omniscience is  not  found in the Bible.  God knowing the future is never directly stated.  Some verses may appear on the surface to imply this attribute, but an implied attribute must square with all Scripture.  If it does not, the implication of God’s  character  or essence  is  incorrect.  If your logical  conclusions derived from selected Scriptures do not harmonize with other Scriptures, then you need to reconsider your theology. Do not wave your hands and try to explain away passages with obvious meanings.

Jeremiah 26:2-3
Tell them everything I command you do not omit a word.  Perhaps they will listen and each one will turn from his evil way.

“Perhaps”,  what  kind  of  word is this  for  God to  be  using?   This passage again  alludes to a contingent event, but our theology states that God knows absolutely what the outcome of the event will be.   To a god with  absolute foreknowledge no event is  contingent all events are absolute.  If this is indeed the case, why does God address man with contingent language?   Is God trying to portray an idea that is false? Would the prophet think that with such language that it was vitally important to not omit a word?  In the end, the people did not listen, so why did God have Jeremiah do this, to justify his own actions, to make the guilty guiltier?

Let me make one additional point here.  God  knows absolute reality.  If to God there are no contingent events (a  mandatory conclusion if absolute foreknowledge is true), the absolute eternal truth is that there are no contingent events.  If you believe that your future is contingent, then you must be deceived. It matters not how God knows the future and who determines it.  If God knows the outcome, then that outcome must occur. Therefore the concept of contingency is lunacy. Everything is  fate.  If  you think that the future is  open, then you cannot believe in absolute foreknowledge.  For centuries,  theologians  have been  arguing  if  we  are  free to determine our future or does God decree it.  This is unimportant for the discussion at hand.  If the future is fixed, then regardless of how it was fixed, it is fixed.  Your future has been determined absolutely,  and  you  have no  other choice except to walk those steps.  Your  future  has  been known, and therefore cannot be altered if God knows it unchangeably.

Ezekiel 20:6 & 15
On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I should not bring them into the land I had given them – a land flowing with milk and honey, most beautiful of all lands.

These passages reiterate one listed earlier, but they are listed here for more clarity.  Here God stated he searched out an area for the people knowing before the search which area it would be, and that the people would never see it. Strange actions indeed.  He then swore to them with an uplifted hand that he would so something, and then later  raised his hand again and swore the opposite.  Now did God mean it when he swore the first time or just the second?  How could he be sincere the first time if he knew inevitably that he could never do it?  Do we start to have a credibility problem with God?  How do we know when he tells us something that he will indeed do it and not renege?

Ezekiel 22:30
I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.

Did God just have some time to burn off so he performed a useless search?  Was God’s heart in the search since before he commenced searching, he knew what the outcome would be?  Was he constrained to search to prove a point?  The question is: Why does God do futile things?

Ezekiel 33:13
If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered, he will die for the evil he has done.

Again, we have more credibility problems with God.  He states emphatically that someone will live when he knows when he gives the statement that it could be false.  Then if someone takes God at his word (that he will live) and lets his guard down, he then risks death.  What kind of message is this?  If God tells you something, don’t believe it?

Psalms 69:28, Exodus 33:32
May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. But now, please forgive their sin – but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.  The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.”

In the first verse we see that David has a notion that God will write someone’s name in the book of life, and at some later date, that person might be removed. Now if God knows absolutely who is going to be saved before he created the world, then what is the point of a holy eraser?  Where did David get such an idea?  Well one place might have been Moses.  Somehow, Moses had bad theology.  But wait, it appears that God propagated that bad theology.  God didn’t just let Moses’ theology  stand, but he compounded it even further.   The  fruit of  this theology is found in Revelation 3:5 when John the Apostle reiterated this idea thousands of years later.

Revelation 3:5
He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white.   I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.

The obvious converse of this passage is that non-overcomers will be blotted out.  Interesting!

What is not meant by the denial of absolute foreknowledge

By denying God knows the future free will choices of man, it is not assumed that God doesn’t know certain future events.  Clearly God has prophesied future events that have come to pass.

These events however could be spoken of as certainties previous to the event, because God has the power to do whatever he so wills.  Nothing can stop his plan.  Therefore, if God decided to have  Jesus  born in Bethlehem,  no force in the  universe  could thwart  his  plan.   He therefore knows the future act absolutely because he has determined to cause the event to occur when the time has been fulfilled.  This is how a Calvinist views every event.  However, I believe Scripture shows that this is the exception and not the rule.

The denial of absolute foreknowledge also does not mean that God does not know everything. Clearly Scripture teaches that God has  full and complete knowledge of everything that exists (I John 3:20).  The question therefore is, does the future exist?  If you decide that the future does in fact exist in some manner as related to God, then it is incumbent on the reader to prove such a position.  This position cannot be simply assumed.  If in fact the future does not exist, then it is not incumbent upon God to know it.

Now this is not to say that God couldn’t have created a world in which he did know the future, but that he did not.  One could ask themselves, if in this world God knows all  future free actions, how would a world where he didn’t know differ from it?  How would the Bible be worded differently?

Our righteousness is like filthy rags due to our INIQUITIES – Isaiah 64:6

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6)

This is the famous ”filthy rags” verse that sometimes is used as an attempt to support the idea that whatever we do – whether we are agnostics or christians – our best deeds are still viewed as filthy and unclean before God. But this is not what the verse is saying – particularly not if we view it in context. We can read that there are indeed people who wait for God and remember Him, and we can read about people who work righteousness. We can read about the REASON why certain people’s righteousness is like filthy rags before God and that it’s DUE TO INIQUITY. Sins always separate us from our Holy God. This is the entire context:

Isaiah 64:4For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that WAITETH for him5Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and WORKETH RIGHTEOUSNESS, those that REMEMBER thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. 6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our INIQUITIES, like the wind, HAVE TAKEN US AWAY. 7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, BECAUSE OF OUR INIQUITIES. 8But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. 9Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

In the next chapter we can see more evidence of that it’s iniquities that cause God to view also our righteousness as filthy rags. There is no obligation to commit iniquities. God doesn’t want people to be rebellious and walk in a way that is unholy to him. We can read below that people walk after their own thoughts, provoke him to anger, offer sacrifices to false gods, make abominable things, blaspheme him, forsake him, refuse to answer him, refuse to hear him, make evil things before his eyes, do things he does not delight in, etc. People couldn’t possibly be predestined to ”choose” something that God does not take delight in, so this must mean that people have a free will to obey or disobey God. The next chapter says:

Isaiah 65: 2I have spread out my hands all the day unto a REBELLIOUS people, which walketh in a way that was not good, AFTER THEIR OWN THOUGHTS; 3A people that PROVOKETH me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; 4Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of ABOMINABLE THINGS is in their vessels;— 7Your INIQUITIES, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and BLASPHEMING ME upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.—11But ye are they that FORSAKE the LORD, that FORGET my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. 12THEREFORE will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: BECAUSE WHEN I CALLED, YE DID NOT ANSWER; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did EVIL BEFORE MY EYES, and did CHOOSE THAT WHEREIN I DELIGHTED NOT13Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:

It also makes perfect sense that God isn’t impressed even with our good deeds if we at the same time perform shameful things in other areas of our lives. (And as we know obedience is better than offerings.) If we confess our sins and REPENT on the other hand, then we are CLEANSED and regarded as righteous before God since we have no sins on our account any more. But we will never be considered ”righteous” as long as we live unrighteous lives. 

Our good works CAN please God IF we live righteously, and then they are NOT viewed as ”filthy rags”:

Matthew 25:21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35But in every nation he that feareth him, and WORKETH RIGHTEOUSNESS, is accepted with him.

2 Pet 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed HIS righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)

Rom. 2:Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Luke 6:45A good manout of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

The better option is to live holy lives, because then we don’t provide ”filthy rags” before God.