God and Evil and Michael Heiser

Dear Pastor Bill,

Greg and I came across this video from Michael Heiser...Have you heard
about him?

In one of the videos he explains election, but I don't think I completely
agree with him, since he separates saved people as a section of the
elect.  What do you think?

In the second video, he talks about predestination...and I know you will
probably disagree with him in this one...am I right? (I need to listen
again to your sermon "God Creates Evil? :))...

I know you are very busy, but if you know something about Heiser, or if
you have time to watch the videos, please, let me know your
opinion..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSzwlO_sqzM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY2thiRaYiU

Have a great week! 🙂

Blessings in Christ,

Heliana

———————-

My reply:

Dear Pastor Bill,

Greg and I came across this video from Michael Heiser...Have you heard 
about him?

No.  But I have spent the last couple of hours analyzing his videos and writing my comments to you.  It’s quite unusual for me to have the time for this, so I was glad I could.

In one of the videos he explains election, but I don't think I completely 
agree with him, since he separates saved people as a section of the 
elect.  What do you think?

I do not know of any Scriptural basis for his thesis that “The saved are a subset of the elect.”  I see his point in trying to distinguish the saved from everyone who says they are a Christian.  But my understanding of Scripture is that the elect ARE the saved; what the Westminster Confession calls the “invisible church.”  The others, whom Michael Heiser would call the “unsaved elect,” who associate themselves with the covenant by making a profession of faith, being baptized, joining a church, witnessing, etc., but who are not saved are part of the visible church only.  This distinction is made in the Westminster Confession without creating a “subset of the elect,” (M. H.’s words) in WCF Chapter 25:

I. The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all.[1]

II. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;[2] and of their children:[3] and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,[4] the house and family of God,[5] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.[6]

1] EPH 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. COL 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

[2] 1CO 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1CO 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. PSA 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. REV 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. ROM 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

[3] 1CO 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. ACT 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. EZE 16:20 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, 21 That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? ROM 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. GEN 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

[4] MAT 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind. ISA 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

[5] EPH 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God. 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

[6] ACT 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

From the Westminster Larger Catechism:

Q. 30. Doth God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?

A. God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery,[111] into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the covenant of works;[112] but of his mere love and mercy delivereth his elect out of it, and bringeth them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant, commonly called the covenant of grace.[113]

Q. 31. With whom was the covenant of grace made?

A. The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.[114]

Q. 32. How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?

A. The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that he freely provideth and offereth to sinners a Mediator,[115] and life and salvation by him;[116] and requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him,[117] promiseth and giveth his Holy Spirit[118] to all his elect, to work in them that faith,[119] with all other saving graces;[120] and to enable them unto all holy obedience,[121] as the evidence of the truth of their faith[122] and thankfulness to God,[123] and as the way which he hath appointed them to salvation.[124]

Q. 45. How doth Christ execute the office of a king?

A. Christ executeth the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself,[174] and giving them officers,[175] laws,[176] and censures, by which he visibly governs them;[177]in bestowing saving grace upon his elect,[178]

So as not to create a huge e-mail, I’ll let you look up those Scripture references:  http://reformed.org/documents/wlc_w_proofs/index.html

Furthermore, I did a word study of “elect” in the Bible — and I’m asking you and Greg to do the same — and found no indication that it differs from “saved.”  For example, the elect cannot be deceived by false Christs (Mt. 24:24; Mk. 13:22) — the unsaved believe in false Christs all the time — He shall gather His elect at the last day to live and reign with Him (Mt. 24:31) — why would He gather the unsaved to live and reign with Him? — He will avenge His elect (Lk. 18:7) — why would He avenge the unsaved? — and many other places that clearly indicate that the elect and the saved are the same people.

My conclusion is that he is attempting to answer a question that the WCF answered 350+ years ago in a far clearer and overwhelmingly Scriptural manner.

In the second video, he talks about predestination...and I know you will 
probably disagree with him in this one...am I right? (I need to listen 
again to your sermon "God Creates Evil? :))...

You are right, of course.  One of his errors is when he says, “God (either) needs evil for His plan to work, or He includes it in His plan,” indicating that there is no other choice.  He says, “evil is not predestinated.”  He offers no Scriptural references for these assertions.

That’s simply his opinion.  Here is God’s:

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” (Isa. 45:7)

“…shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” (Amos 3:6)

See also Job chapters 1 and 2 to realize that the Lord creates evil by ordering Satan to do His bidding.  And how could it be otherwise? If Satan can operate independently of God, then God is not in control.

He sounds like most people who simply cannot accept the fact that the Lord creates evil when he says, “Couldn’t He think of a better plan?  He’s omniscient.”  That comment is blasphemous.

He says at 3:55 in the video, “If we are going to be like God, we need to be free…if we can’t make genuine choices we are not like God.” I was stunned.  I had to rewind that several times. Now I am changing my view of this man.  Before I had given him the benefit of the doubt; that he was sincere, yet sincerely wrong.  But that statement is VERY disturbing.  How can a believer make a statement like that?  It comes from the pit of hell:  “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5).  (BTW, the word “gods” here can be translated as “God.”)  Lucifer wanted to be like God, thus he was thrown out of heaven and is now known as Satan.  Satan wanted man through Adam and Eve to become His slave, and in Gen. 3 he made the same argument that Michael Heiser makes:  “Eve, eat the fruit! God doesn’t want you to be free.  He knows when you eat it you will be like Him.  If you are going to be like God, you need to be free…if you can’t make genuine choices you are not like God.”

My gift of spiritual discernment went into overdrive for the rest of the video when I heard that statement.

Going on with the video…

He makes the old Arminian argument that God makes men free but sees down the corridors of time and knows what free choices they will make and then takes that into account in working their free choices into the ends He desires.  In other words, God already knows in advance what men will do.  Therefore they cannot do otherwise.  ISN’T THAT EFFECTIVELY THE SAME AS PREDESTINATION?? 

He says his is “a much bigger view of God.”  Those are propaganda words;  Gen. 3 words out of the mouth of the serpent.

He even makes up Scripture, putting words in God’s mouth, at 7:54 and after in the video.  I’m reminded of Gen. 3 where Satan puts words in God’s mouth.

I am truly sorry to have to conclude this about the man.  But his is a Satanic argument, and for his soul’s sake, I hope the Lord opens his eyes.

He says that God “doesn’t need everything to be predestinated along the way to make it work.  That’s how big He is…You need a greater mind than that, a greater being.”   Those are seductive words. It is revealing how similar the reasoning and presentation are to the serpent’s reasoning and presentation in Gen. 3.  To the casual ear the statement may sound God-glorifying.  But think about it:  God doesn’t “need” to do anything.  To put it the way he does, he is subtly seducing his audience to think that predestination “limits” God. In other words, what God is or wills “limits” Him.  You could make the same argument for anything God is or wills.  He cannot sin.  He is therefore limited.  He has willed to save His people but not everyone.  He is therefore limited.  He has willed logic, that something cannot be true and false at the same time.  Therefore He is limited.  And on and on and on.

“You need a greater mind than that, a greater being.”   In other words, the God of the Bible is too limited, too small.  You need to think of a greater being.  We both know who that “greater being” is, whether Michael Heiser knows what he is saying or not.  I shudder at those words.

I’m not saying that Mr. Heiser is a Satanist or consciously in league with the devil.  I am saying that, at best, he is deceived.  At best, he is trying to reconcile God with the existence of evil.  His problem is that his fallen nature keeps him from accepting the clear Scripture testimony: God creates evil for His glory.  “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” (Isa. 45:7)

My sermon on this is at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=71107144328

Your brother in Christ,

P. Bill

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