Jun 30, 2009

Where are the Hardshells?

When I first began this blog, I used it primarily for posting my chapters for the book "The Hardshell Baptist Cult." (Note: I have since created a separate blog - "Hardshellism" - where I have put all published chapters and where I will be posting future chapters)

Over the first few months of publishing the early chapters of this book, I had several Hardshell "elders" leave comments. Slowly, the comments from the Hardshells dwindled so that now none of them comment (or otherwise let me know they are reading). What has happened to them? Is it not because their errors, both historical and biblical, have been totally refuted?

How could they possibly, for instance, deny that I completely overthrew their claim to John Gill as respecting "means" in regeneration?

One Hardshell elder thought he might be able to find a Hardshell elder to debate Hardshellism. But, so far, nothing but silence.

But, this is really nothing new. Bob Ross and I, when we first began, in the early 90's to write against the Hardshells (and made TV videos also), would have Hardshells call, write, or otherwise ask us - "what has gotten you upset with us?" (paraphrasing) We asked them to come and debate their novel views, and debate the question "who are the real Primitive or Old Baptists?" Again, they have all run and hid themselves.

Will things change? We will see.

Adrian Rogers

One of my favorite preachers has always been Adrian Rogers. I still enjoy listening to his teachings. Although not a five point Calvinist, as myself, I nevertheless believe that the preaching of brother Rogers has been greatly blessed. The SBC can be proud of the leadership that brother Rogers offered to them (he was president three times).

I also have appreciated Bible teachers Jerry Falwell and J. Vernon McGee. Again, though not as Calvinistic as myself, I nevertheless rejoice in the evangelistic preaching and teaching of these men.


What I have accomplished in the past three years.

1. Eighty nine chapters in my book "The Hardshell Baptist Cult." I have about half of this lengthy book completed and hope to complete it in the next year.

2. An entire year of "Daily Bread" entries. This book has a daily Bible study entry. I have started working on adding an entry to each day so that there are two studies or devotions for each day, a "morning and evening," as it were.

3. Various postings in my Campbellism blog on the history of Campbellism.

4. Began work on my book "The Ordo Salutis Debate." Although I do not have any chapter published as yet, some are in draft form and it is my hope that I can finish this writing over the next year.

5. Began work on my book "Job's Theology." I have already published four chapters and plan to finish this book also over the next year.

6. I am also hoping to put together my writings, with additions, on the "Doctrine of the Second Coming," also over the next year.

7. I am also working on my book "Old Wine in New Bottles." Again, I have much work done on this book but it has taken a "back seat" to the other writings.

In addition to all these writings, I haved posted numerous other writings, some in "series," on various topics, such as on the canonicity of the Book of Esther, and on "elder rule," and on "Peter the Rock."

I have had one public oral debate during the past three years and have another scheduled for August of this year. The one two years ago was with a "Church of Christ" evangelist on unconditional election and eternal security. The upcoming one in August will be on whether one is pardoned at the point of faith or baptism.

I have, in the Gadfly, posted nearly a thousand entries.

3rd Year Anniversary

It was in July of 2006 that I began this blog. Thus, I celebrate the completion of three years of the Baptist Gadfly.

I appreciate every reader who has visited and I covet the prayers of all as I continue with my theological writings.


Jun 29, 2009

Job's Apology

Job's Theology

Job's Apology - Chapter Four

In the previous chapter, notice was taken of the various sins that have been charged against godly Job, by Satan, by Job's family and friends, in the story itself, and then later and by commentators and interpreters of the Book of Job. It was also observed how this was so in spite of Job's vindication by God himself. It was also observed how both God and Job maintained the righteousness and integrity of Job's character and doctrine. We may safely say that Job maintained God's integrity and righteousness throughout the story, and likewise God maintained Job's integrity and righteousness.

In this chapter some notice will be taken of some further accusations against Job and of Job's defense or apology against his accusers. Let us begin with Eliphaz's further accusations against Job.

Eliphaz said:

"For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing. Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry. But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it. Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken. Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee..." (22: 6-10)

Here Job is further accused, by his "friend," of numerous sins. According to Eliphaz, it was Job who had disregarded the poor and had been covetous. According to the judgment of Eliphaz and of Job's "friends," Job loved money and cared not for people. Eliphaz also accused him of being a thief and fraudulent fellow. Further, says Eliphaz, these sins are the reason why Job has received the things he has confessed to having dreaded and feared.

Later, when Job is contemplating his former life in prosperity, and answering the accusations of Eliphaz, he said:

"When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth." (29: 11-17)

Here Job denies the accusations of Eliphaz. Further, knowing that he is innocent of the sins charged against him, he was resolved not to make confession of sins of which he was not guilty; And, his not doing so is not a case of self righteousness. For him to confess to sins of which he was not guilty would make him a liar.

Eliphaz then says to Job:

"If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God." (22: 23-26)

Here Job is accused of impenitence, of not "returning to the Almighty." He is accused of having "iniquity" in his "tabernacles," and therefore is urged to "put away" such sins. Eliphaz then gives to Job a false doctrine, saying to him that God rewards the righteous with silver and gold in this life. To Eliphaz, poverty and loss are signs of being an enemy to God. On the other hand, wealth and prosperity, and good health, are evidences of being a close friend of God.

Job Maintains his Righteousness and Integrity

"Moreover Job continued his parable, and said, As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul; All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live." (27: 1-6)

Was Job here wrong in vindicating himself? Was it arrogance for him to do so? Notice the language of Job in the above words. Are they words of unbelief? Of doubt? Of impatience? Of impenitence? Of unrighteous anger? Of an heretic? Of one who is desperate and given up all hope? Of course, the answer to all these questions is "no."

These words demonstrate how Job, as an inspired prophet and a holy man of God, held firm in his faith and convictions, and spoke only truth. Rather than being a man of doubt, Job was a man assured of his salvation status and his theology. Job did not utter anything deceitful or wicked. Job shows how important correct thinking and speaking, theologically, were to him.

"Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief. Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased?" (16: 1-6)

Job did not believe (nor God either) that his words were "vain words," but rather the words of his "comforters" were such. Here Job accuses his friends of showing no friendship. They are not "helping" him, but making his sufferings greater by their infamous speeches.

"Then Job answered and said, How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me. And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself." (19: 1-4)

Here Job again maintains his righteousness and innocence. Job does not believe he has erred theologically or morally. He also claims that his friends have failed to demonstrate his error.

Job says:

"Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me. Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh? Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." (19: 21-27)

These words demonstrate the prophetic character of Job and his utterances. This petition was granted by God! Job's words have been immortalized. Yet, in spite of the righteousness of Job and his doctrine, his "friends" continue to show him no pity or mercy and refuse to see in him the likeness of God. They persecute him, but he does not render evil for evil.

"But Job answered and said, Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations. Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on. As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled? Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth. Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh. Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?" (Job 21: 1-7)

Job sees the words and teachings of his "friends" as being nothing but cruel mockings. It is interesting that Job here calls upon his erring friends to lay their hands upon their mouths, the very thing Job does at the end. He also overcomes the doctrinal position of his opponents with his interrogative.

It is their view that long life, wealth, and power, are the rewards God gives to the righteous in this life. Yet Job argues that the facts of the case prove otherwise. Job says that observation alone is enough to prove his opponents are in error. Wicked men often are men of wealth, power, and long life. It is an undeniable fact. Thus, it cannot be true that such things are given only to the righteous. They could not answer "why."

Job also said to them emphatically:

"The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly." (Job 12: 1-6)

They did not know "why" any wicked person, such as robbers, could or would become wealthy and powerful, and "prosper." Yet, such was and is the case, and such an undeniable fact therefore disproves the main point of Job's theological opponents.

Job said to his theological opponents, or "friends";

"O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom. Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips. Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him? Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God?" (13: 1-8)

Again, "put your hand over your mouth"! "Hold your peace"! "Shut up"! "Be silent and still"! To do this, in Job's mind, would demonstrate true and heavenly "wisdom." Interestingly, Job's later silence, or his own putting his hand upon his mouth, upon hearing and seeing God, proves the godly wisdom of Job.

Notice also how Job maintains his integrity and spirituality and the purity of his theology. His "reasoning" and "pleadings" are correct and righteous, while theirs is not.

Jun 25, 2009

Job The Accused

Job's Theology

Job The Accused - Chapter Three

The righteous and prophetic character of Job having been established, we may now ask - "Of what sin(s) was Job guilty?" Or, "What sin(s) caused his tragedy, if any?"

Eliphaz had pressed Job with a insinuating interrogative - "Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins endless?" (Job 22:5).

He accuses Job of extraordinary sin. He affirms that Job's suffering is great because his sin is great. Many Hebrew and Christian "interpreters" likewise believe that Job was guilty of rebellion and sin against God. But, like Job's accusing "friends," they are wrong about Job!

Not only Eliphaz, but next Bildad accuses Job of sin. He said to Job:

"If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous." (8: 6)

Bildad does not believe Job is pure, righteous, just, nor upright. He, like Eliphaz, is convinced that Job is truly God's enemy and is suffering his just and equitable wrath, resulting from his sins. Job, they believe, is an evil man.

First, Satan, living up to the significance of his name and character, becomes Job's adversay and accuses him of several sins, as I have previously shown. Next, Job's wife, becomes adversarial and also accuses Job, followed by his remaining family. To them it is Job's fault for the calamities the family has experienced. Next, Job is accused by Eliphaz, and Bildad, and Zophar, and Elihu, his supposed "friends." Finally, he is accused of numerous sins by Hebrew and Christian "interpreters" of Job.

Strikingly, however, Job is never accused of any evil by God. He only blesses and approves of Job's character and teachings. Again, if our understanding of the character and teachings of Job puts us into the place of accusing righteous Job of unrighteousness, of accusing patient Job of impatience, etc., then we have a different view than God, and are found guilty of condemning him whom the Lord has justified.

A proper understanding of the character and teachings of Job will put us in defence of Job, of vindicating him, as God did, and extolling the virtues and the relative innocence of Job, rather than condemning him.

Sins of Job (supposed)

1. Pride and arrogance (presumption)
2. Self righteousness (self justification)
3. Hypocrisy and idolatry
4. Cowardness (too much complaining)
5. Selfishness and greed
6. Impenitence (refusal to confess sin)
7. Impatience (complains too much)
8. Unbelief (refusal to trust God)
9. Unfaithfulness and disloyalty
10. False Teacher (bad theology)
11. Respecter of persons (envious)
12. Murderer (for being suicidal)

If one reads the words of Job's "friends," and of commentators and interpreters since their day, he will discover one or more of the above sins charged against Job. In fact, many commentators on the Book of Job invariably end up being just as accusatory and critical against Job's character and theology as were Job's "friends," the very ones God condemned in the Epilogue for sin and heresy!

Remember from chapter one where the divine testimony of Job consisted of these declarations.

"None like him in the earth."
"Man of Integrity"
"Fears God"
"Eschews evil"
"God's servant"
"In all this Job sinned not"
"In all this Job did not charge God foolishly"
"Job has spoken concerning me what is right"

The divine record has him righteous, innocent, and of unblemished character. But, the judgment of Job's "friends" and of many interpreters of Job, and of the Book of Job, have him guilty and blemished with a multitude of sins.

Certainly God maintains Job's righteousness (innocence) throughout the narrative. There are some words in God's speeches that some use (or abuse) in an attempt to prove that Job was guilty of some sin or error, but which, as I shall show in future chapters, do not prove him guilty of sin or theological error.

All the above declarations concerning Job's words and godly character would be disregarded and made meaningless did we advocate the view that Job was guilty of sin and of grave theological error and affirm that it was due to sin and error that he suffered.

No only does God maintain the righteousness of Job, but Job himself maintains his righteousness. This is not to say that Job was sinlessly perfect as Jesus, for the record is - "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." (Ecclesiastes 7: 20) But, what is affirmed, is that Job was the most righteous of anyone on earth, and his sins the fewest and smallest. He did not commit any sin that deserved, according to God's ordinary rule, such a dispensation of chastisements, or temporal evils. According to the normal distribution of justice, the enormity of the evils that came upon him were out of proportion to any sin he may have committed.

Job The Fearful and Unbelieving?

"For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came." (Job 3: 25, 26)

Some affirm that this confession implicates Job of hidden sin. Job, prior to his tragedy, it is alleged, was a "fearful and unbelieving" man, the kind whom the scriptures identify as being "cast into the Lake of Fire" on the Day of Judgment, or the eternally lost. (See Rev. 21: 8)

Wrote one writer:

"Job was afraid that if he INSISTED THAT GOD would preserve him, that THIS would be THE sin that brought on the things he greatly feared. As it turns out, it was not his presumption on God's protection, but his DOUBT OF IT that invited and warranted these tragedies."

"JOB'S SIN was doubt of God's goodness and faithfulness, even after a full lifetime of proof that God would take care of him." (Some emphasis mine - SG)

See here

Sadly, this is typical of many Christian "interpreters." Job, in spite of the divine declarations to the contrary, is made into one of the worst of sinners. This is exactly the same estimation of Job that we see in Satan and in Job's "friends." Rather than being a great "man of faith" and patience, he is made out to be a man of doubt and unbelief, a man with unconfessed and unrepentant sin, and above all, an impatient man!

No, the words of Job in 3: 25, 26 do not imply sin or weakness of faith on the part of Job. Such a view reads into the passage what is not in it. Rather, if the words imply anything, they imply that Job was not guilty of the sin of presumption, but was cautious, and walked in the fear of the Lord. Is it wrong for Christians to have fears of loss? Are Christians to think of themselves as being absolutely secure in their earthly enjoyments? That godly living eliminates tragedies and lessons earthly sufferings?

Contrary to the view that Job was a man of doubt and carnal fear and dread, another writer wrote:

"Was Job to Blame for His Trials?"

"Some well-meaning people who want to exonerate God in this story, try to place the blame on Job for his problems. If we can find some flaw in Job, then we can let God “off the hook.” We need to be careful, however, in looking for flaws in a man about whom God Himself said, “There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil (Job 1:8).

Some have suggested that Job opened the door to Satan through his fear, based upon Job’s statement in 3:25: “For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.” They say that if Job had not been afraid, he never would have lost his children, servants, health, and livestock.

I must ask, If Job opened the door through fear, what is the point of the first two chapters of the book of Job? Why did Satan have to appear before God before he afflicted Job?

If Job was full of fear and not faith, why would God brag about him as the one person on the earth who stood out among all the rest? Especially when we know that “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6)? Job was a man of much greater faith than the average person, as demonstrated by the fact that he worshiped God after being afflicted. How many of us would have lost all faith in God if we had been in Job’s place?

If Job’s fear was the reason for his affliction, did he become more fearful after the first test and, therefore, open the door wider to lose his health?

If Job opened the door through fear, why did God or Satan never mention that fact?

If Job opened the door through fear, why didn’t the loving God tell him so he could resist Satan and not be afflicted? Or why didn’t God mention to Job that he opened the door through fear during the final chapters when He spoke directly to Job? Foremost, why did God say to Satan, “You incited Me against him, to ruin him without cause.” (Job 2:3, emphasis added)?

Again, if Job opened the door through fear, then what is the point of the first two chapters of this book? The idea that Job opened the door to Satan through fear is certainly not valid, and such an interpretation, although well-meaning, is strained at best.

I might also mention that Job said in 30:26: “When I expected good, then evil came; when I waited for light, then darkness came.” By taking another scripture out of context, we could just as easily (and wrongly) prove that Job opened the door to Satan by expecting good things!" (some emphasis mine - SG)


Adam Clarke commented on this verse, saying:

Verse 25. For the thing which I greatly feared - Literally, the fear that I feared; or, I feared a fear, as in the margin. While I was in prosperity I thought adversity might come, and I had a dread of it. I feared the loss of my family and my property; and both have occurred. I was not lifted up: I knew that what I possessed I had from Divine Providence, and that he who gave might take away. I am not stripped of my all as a punishment for my self-confidence."

Thus, this confession of Job, rather than implying an unhealthy and carnal fear, rather demonstrates the spiritual health and righteousness of Job. He shows that he was not guilty of presumption, or over confidence, or self-confidence, or of having a carnal false sense of security. The wisest and holiest of people are people who do not overestimate themselves nor underestimate the powers of their enemies. Christians are to realize that tragedy may happen to them at any time and that they are not to take God's blessings and securities for granted.

Job is simply saying "my worst fears have come true." Does such language imply that Job was spiritually insecure and lacking in faith? No. In the case of Job, such language is the language of one who has understanding, of one who knows that he is liable to loss and tragedy (and who is therefore careful), and of one who knows that God often sends tragedies to even the godly for manifold good, and sometimes, for unknown reasons.

Besides, Job's fear of God was fear of his mysterious providence, which included his suffering the law breaker and immoral man to prosper and be in safety while suffering the law abiding to suffer numerous ills. Perhaps the prophet Isaiah had the story of Job in mind, to some degree, when he said - "And let him be your fear, and let him be your dread." (Isaiah 8: 13 KJV)

Job, when contemplating lawless people, said of them - "Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them." (Job 21: 19 KJV)

Here Job counters two false ideas:

1) The righteous are never fearful, but always fearless and safe against disasters and tragedies. And, that fearfulness of loss is sin or lack of faith.

2) The wicked are fearful against tragedies and enjoy no safety.

Job plainly teaches that the lawless or wicked person does not suffer from the application of the disciplinary "rod" of God. God judges all men, and dispenses, or will dispense, punishment to all, but the punishments dispensed to the Lord's own people are always in the manner of "chastisement," or discipline administered to children by parents, for the purposes of correction.

Job, as a righteous man, did not have the same false sense of security as the wicked.

He had a noble and lofty "fear of God." He had a "dread" of God and of his awesome workings. He realized that the wicked often feel safe. He realized too that they are often more safe from certain evils than are the righteous. This is seen in such passages as these.

"Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves...And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it." (Isaiah 28: 15, 18 KJV)

Here the wicked are described as having a firm sense that they are free of the possibility of loss or tragedy. The truly righteous, as Job, live in fear of God, knowing that he can take away, as in the case of Job, "without cause." He knows that the level of his closeness to Christ is not measured by the level of his freedom from tragedy and loss.

Again, speaking of the wicked, the Psalmist wrote:

"For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment." (Psalm 73: 4-6 KJV)

And the prophet wrote:

"...the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them." (Jeremiah 2: 37 KJV)

Again, the wicked possess both real and imagined (psychological) freedom from temporal troubles, loss, and tragedy, and such a freedom that is often greater than that of the righteous. The wicked are arrogant and presumptious about their security.

"The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted." (Proverbs 10: 24 KJV)

"The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" (Isaiah 33: 14 KJV)

This is an important verse for our consideration of Job 3: 25, 26 concerning the fear and dread of Job prior to and during his sufferings. Notice that the righteous are not "surprised" by fearfulness and loss, but the wicked are surprised. This shows that the wicked live each day without any realization that today could bring great loss. The righteous, however, do realize it, and therefore, do not take for granted their blessings, but daily thank and petition God.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23: 4 KJV)

Such was the faith of Job! He feared God and his mysterious ways and knew that what he had, respecting earthly good, was not guaranteed to him. Job's fear of God over-ruled any fear of tragedy or loss. In fact, it was this holy fear and enduring faith in God that ultimately gave Job the victory over his sufferings.

Concerning the kind of fear the righteous experience, but which is not sin, is mentioned by Paul in these words.

"For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter." (II Corinthians 7: 5, 11 KJV)

Is this not the same kind of fear and dread that Isaiah recommended and which Job possessed?

Thus, Job is falsely accused in regards to his fear and dread of the tragedies he experienced.

Next, let us notice additional information regarding the accusations that have been, and are made, against Job's character and theology.

Zophar's Accusations

"Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified? Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed? For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes. But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee..." (11: 1-5)

Amazingly, and ironically, God did "speak" and "open his lips"! But, the words of God were not "against" Job, either his character or his "doctrine," but against Zophar! What Zophar thought was "lies" in theology, was the pure doctrine of God. In this testimony, Zophar attests to the fact that Job maintained his purity in doctrine and righteous living. He only thought Job was wrong and that God would correct him if he spoke. But, obviously, Job was right, as God stated.

Eliphaz once again "chimes in" and charges Job's character and doctrine in these words.

"utters vain knowledge"
"unprofitable talk"
"no good speeches"
"no fear of God"
"doesn't pray to God"
"utters iniquity"
"tongue of the crafty"

Then, in conclusion, he says - "Your speeches condemn you," that is, "your words prove I am right, for they reveal your sinful mind and condition."

Next, he basically asks Job - "are you a know it all?"

Then he asks - "Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at, That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?" (15: 12, 13)

Here Job is accused of being out of fellowship with God, a man who "winks at" sin and who "turns against God" and who speaks a false theology. But, again, such an accusation is false. It is sad that many commentators and interpreters of Job also falsely accuse Job.

Zophar accuses Job of sin with these expressions:

"full of the sin of his youth"
"wickedness be sweet in his mouth"
"hide it under his tongue"
"keep it still within his mouth"
"spare it, and forsake it not"
"gall of asps within him"
"he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor"
"violently taken away an house which he builded not"
"his iniquity"

Yet, in spite of all these false accusations, Job continued to maintain his faith and assurance of a right relationship to God. He confesses that the evils that have come upon him are "not for any injustice in mine hands" and that his "prayer is pure." (16: 16, 17)

He then says:

"Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high. My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.
O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!"
(16: 19-21)

And what is the record of that divine witness at the end of the story? Did God not bear witness to the rightousness of Job? And, of the purity of his doctrine concerning God?

Jun 19, 2009

Job The Prophet

Job's Theology

Job The Prophet - Chapter Two

"Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." (James 5: 10, 11 KJV)

As shown in the previous chapter, these words of James prove that Job was a prophet of God, one who spoke in the name of the Lord. This testimony is sufficient in itself, but we will notice more.

Job said:

"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." (Job 19: 25, 26 KJV)

Was this not a "prophecy" of Christ the Messiah? Does this prophecy not constitute Job as a "prophet"?

Wrote Peter:

"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (II Peter 1: 21 KJV)

Was Job not one of these "holy men of God"? Was he not one of "the prophets"? Did he not speak as "moved by the Holy Ghost"? Are his words not inspired? Approved by God himself in Job 42: 7? In that verse, God says:

"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." (KJV)

These words should settle all debate about the correctness of Job's theology, about the truthfulness of what he said about the nature and workings of God in his dialogues with his "friends." Yet, many commentators and interpreters of the Book of Job have found intriguing and crafty ways of "twisting" this divine commentary on the character and teachings of Job. In spite of what God said about Job's theological teachings, many "interpreters" nevertheless tell us that Job was wrong about many things he said about God and his providence! But, more on this in a future chapter. Clearly these words of Lord God confirm that Job was a prophet who spoke in the name of the Lord and as moved by the Holy Ghost.

"I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets." (Hosea 12: 10 KJV)

Did Job not see God face to face, as much so as Moses? Did he not receive the very words of God? What greater oracles are there than those given to the prophet Job? Did Job not receive from God "multiplied visions"? Was not the whole character and experiences of Job a "similitude" for the sufferings of Christ? Did God not identify Job as his "spokesman" by always faithfully calling him his "servant" and by affirming that Job had "spoken concerning me what is right"? (42: 7)

"Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth." (Hosea 6: 5 KJV)

How can any legitimately exclude Job from this description of "the prophets"? Has not the theology of Job sculptured and shaped the thought of God's people? In the words of Job, and of God's words to Job, do we not have the "words of my (God's) mouth"? His "judgments"? Who can honestly read Job and not come away with the feeling of being "hewed" by the message?

Also, as pointed out in the previous chapter, Lord God, through Ezekiel the prophet, put Job in company with two other prophets, with Noah and Daniel. Does this not also indicate that Job was a prophet?

Jun 18, 2009

Job's Righteous Character

Job's Theology

Job's Righteous Character - Chapter One

Before examining the theology of Job, we should look at the character of Job. It is fair to say that Job has suffered (in the hands, ironically, of many Christian commentators) a "character assassination" of the worst kind. Many believe Job, in character, was not, in reality, as he is described, either in the Book of Job, or elsewhere in scripture. Many consider the things he said about God to be gross error, his theology to be heresy, and surely not, therefore, an inspired prophet of God.

When one compares the divine judgment of Job's character with the judgment of many commentators on Job's character and theology, one sees an intriguing and surprising difference. God's commentary on the character of Job differs greatly from that of many Christian commentators.

The Book of Job begins with a divine interrogative to "The Satan" (or The Accuser) -- "Have you considered my servant Job?"

The same question may be asked of every person on earth, especially of those who read the story of Job, and of all those who are Christians. Have we "considered" God's prophet and servant, the man called "Job"? Have we deeply pondered his character, life experiences, and theology?

In this series of essays on Job's Theology, this is precisely what we will be doing. We will be considering the character and teachings of Job. How will our judgments of Job compare with the judgment of God? With that of The Satan? With that of Job's "friends"? How will our portraiture of Job compare with the scriptural portrait of Job?

Job's Character

"In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil." (Job 1: 1 NIV)

"Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." (1:8)

These are the words of both God and the inspired writer of the Book of Job concerning the character of Job. They give us a portrait of Job that ought not to be impugned. With such an holy character attributed to him, it is no wonder, as we shall see, that he is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, the greater sufferer, or greater than Job.

"None like him in the earth."
"Man of Integrity"
"Fears God"
"Eschews evil"
"God's servant"
"In all this Job sinned not"
"In all this Job did not charge God foolishly"
"Job has spoken concerning me what is right"

These are the character descriptions of Job, given in the Book of Job. They are accurate and truthful, being the very judgment of God. One of the ways in which we may judge the correctness of our interpretations of the Book of Job is to compare our estimation of Job and his character with this divinely inspired estimation. Has our interpretation of the words of Job caused us to have a lower estimation of him and his character than that expressed in the above citations from the Book of Job and the oracles of God?

Satan says Job is

1. Selfish (serves God for what he can get from God, i.e., he "uses" God)

2. Really a God hater, but who covers it up ("he will curse you" given the opportunity)

3. A hypocrite

4. Not what God thinks he is, that is, not perfect and upright, etc.

5. Unfaithful, disloyal and unreliable

6. Not a man of integrity

In all this Satan not only condemns the character of Job but also the character and ways of God.

"At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing." (1: 20-22 NIV)

"Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason." (2: 3)

"So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said." (2: 7-10)

These verses are clear and concise and tell us the truth about this man named "Job." Our view of him ought to be the same as that of God. If it is not, then something is wrong with our view of Job, and not with God's view of him.

"Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD...Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness." (Ezekiel 14: 14, 20 KJV)

Here Job is put in the company of prophets and righteous men. Yet Noah and Daniel have not suffered from "character assassination" as has God's "servant" Job. No reputable Christian commentator questions the holiness or inspiration of the words of either Noah or Daniel, yet a host of them question the holiness and inspiration of the godly Job.

Job the Prophet

"Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." (James 5: 10, 11 KJV)

Is not Job here clearly identified as one of "the prophets" who "spoke in the name of the Lord"? Is he not an "example" of "prophets" suffering affliction? Is he not an "example" of "prophets" having patience in suffering?

Why would Christian theologians and bible students exclude Job from being one of the inspired prophets with so much evidence in support of it?

Jun 16, 2009

Series on Job's Theology


Was Job a false prophet? Did he utter heresies and blasphemies against God? Did he believe and advance a wrong theology? Were his views of God and his works erroneous? Many quickly say "yes" to these questions. To many Job was as much wrong in his conceptions of God as were his friends. Some say that Job was a lost man at the beginning of the story. Are they right?

It is my firm conviction that Job was an inspired prophet of God and that he gave us an accurate theology and that his speeches contain no errors in theology. I believe it is a great error for professing Christians to make Job into an ungodly, self-righteous, and heretical man. It is my intention to write a series of articles vindicating the inspiration of the words of Job and of his holy character.

Jun 14, 2009

Oswald Chambers on Wisdom Books

The "Wisdom Literature," or five poetic books of the Old Testament canon, are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) offered this concise summary of the five books:

* Job - How to suffer

* Psalms - How to pray

* Proverbs - How to act

* Ecclesiastes - How to enjoy

* Song of Solomon - How to love

Taken from here

Jun 10, 2009

Job an Erring Calvinist?

For those of you interested in good discussion between predestinarians and Arminians, visit this web page here and read the discussion in the combox.

One thing you will find interesting is the fact that the Arminian apologists who are debating "Jluce" and myself state emphatically that Job was a Calvinist and predestinarian but was wrong! And, that many things he said about God were in error!

I am glad to see this "confession"! Job and I are in agreement but the Arminian apologists in the combox say Job was all wrong!