The following is information shared for those who may have similar questions concerning these Scriptures and may of even had some Calvinists share these attempting to prove their eisegetical traditions. However, when examined Biblically and logically it is clear the Calvinist position falls short very fast.
You said: Hi Kelly. I’ve listened to all of your responses to James White several times. I think I’ve almost got the gist of how to respond to calvinists on John 6, but its still confusing to me, so maybe I just need to listen a few more times. I was wondering how would a response be given to Isaiah 10, concerning the Assyrians, and Genesis 50:19-20, concerning Joseph’s brothers, when calvinists bring these up?
Well, good to hear that you are getting John 6 and how to respond to Calvinists. As to Genesis 50:19-20 and Isaiah 10 and Calvinists bringing these up as proof texts for Salvation, well that is silly. The problem with Calvinists is their hyper-extended understanding of God being Sovereign. Sovereignty means that the Triune God of all creation is in control and is ruling all things as in authority and power. This does not mean that all of creation is some screen written play that we are all just acting out because it is written in the script. In other words God is the author no doubt and works things in and through people but we still have choices to make without being forced to do it. God calls states things many times as though they are though they have not taken place yet, this is God’s foreknowledge, also known as prophecy. There are many places where God speaks forth something that is yet to come and we simply acknowledge that as being futuristic or prophetic. As many places in the Bible state that God works things out according to those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28-31). Honestly, if we are to believe that God being Sovereign means that all things that happen in life are the result of God then that would include sin, evil, sicknesses, etc. Though God is Sovereign not all things are subjected to Him. For example Satan and his demons (followers) are not under submission to God’s Sovereignty, does this mean God is not all-powerful or ruling? Of course not! There are many people in this world who flat out forsake God’s ways, does this mean God is not in control? Of course not! Point being is God is still Sovereign in the Biblical sense that He is in control and uses all things for His glory. However, with God being in control He still works through mankind to accomplish His purposes but not forcing them.
Responding to a Calvinist in regards to Genesis 50:19-20
“19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? 20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (Genesis 50:19-20 NASB)
Remember what Joseph said to his brothers back in Genesis 45:5-8? Joseph said: “5 “Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 “For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 “God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. 8 “Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.” Joseph in these accounts is stating two very important Biblical truth’s. God calls people into certain situations in life and they have a responsibility in what they do. Looking at what Joseph went through his whole life was focused on serving God and obeying God. Joseph was not forced into becoming the second in charge over all of Egypt next to Pharaoh. Joseph used the gifts that God gave him for serving people, thus God honored him and used him to bring forth preservation for the people. Joseph was not forced to explain dreams, Joseph was not forced to help his brothers, Joseph did it out of love. Love is not forced, love is demonstrated. For Calvinists to use this to prove that God is Sovereign in all things in life and salvation then they have to say that all the lies, people rebelling against the ways of God, Potiphera’s wife attempting to sleep with Joseph, and other things were all done by God, thus God was the author of sin and evil. But that is not the case at all, that is not the God of the Bible. Joseph was a man who loved God and God used him as an instrument to save people.
Responding to a Calvinist in regards to Isaiah 10
“1 Woe to those who enact evil statutes And to those who constantly record unjust decisions, 2 So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the orphans. 3 Now what will you do in the day of punishment, And in the devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your wealth? 4 Nothing remains but to crouch among the captives Or fall among the slain. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out. 5 Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hands is My indignation, 6 I send it against a godless nation And commission it against the people of My fury To capture booty and to seize plunder, And to trample them down like mud in the streets. 7 Yet it does not so intend, Nor does it plan so in its heart, But rather it is its purpose to destroy And to cut off many nations. 8 For it says, “Are not my princes all kings? 9 “Is not Calno like Carchemish, Or Hamath like Arpad, Or Samaria like Damascus? 10 “As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols, Whose graven images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria, 11 Shall I not do to Jerusalem and her images Just as I have done to Samaria and her idols?” 12 So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.” 13 For he has said, “By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this, For I have understanding; And I removed the boundaries of the peoples And plundered their treasures, And like a mighty man I brought down their inhabitants, 14 And my hand reached to the riches of the peoples like a nest, And as one gathers abandoned eggs, I gathered all the earth; And there was not one that flapped its wing or opened its beak or chirped.” 15 Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood. 16 Therefore the Lord, the GOD of hosts, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors; And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame. 17 And the light of Israel will become a fire and his Holy One a flame, And it will burn and devour his thorns and his briars in a single day. 18 And He will destroy the glory of his forest and of his fruitful garden, both soul and body, And it will be as when a sick man wastes away. 19 And the rest of the trees of his forest will be so small in number That a child could write them down. 20 Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea, Only a remnant within them will return; A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord GOD of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land. 24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, “O My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did. 25 “For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent and My anger will be directed to their destruction.” 26 The LORD of hosts will arouse a scourge against him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and His staff will be over the sea and He will lift it up the way He did in Egypt. 27 So it will be in that day, that his burden will be removed from your shoulders and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be broken because of fatness. 28 He has come against Aiath, He has passed through Migron; At Michmash he deposited his baggage. 29 They have gone through the pass, saying, “Geba will be our lodging place.” Ramah is terrified, and Gibeah of Saul has fled away. 30 Cry aloud with your voice, O daughter of Gallim! Pay attention, Laishah and wretched Anathoth! 31 Madmenah has fled. The inhabitants of Gebim have sought refuge. 32 Yet today he will halt at Nob; He shakes his fist at the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33 Behold, the Lord, the GOD of hosts, will lop off the boughs with a terrible crash; Those also who are tall in stature will be cut down And those who are lofty will be abased. 34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an iron axe, And Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One.” (Isaiah 10 NASB)
Reading through this chapter very carefully there is nothing that states what Calvinism teaches. All that is stated in God’s Word here is that there were those who were rebelling against God’s ways and God was going to bring forth judment upon them. There is nothing here that states man has no choice, no free will, no responsibility, as Calvinism teaches. There is however in these verses God’s power and judgment being decreed, thus prophecy. As stated before God calls things as reality as though they still have not taken place yet. God in these verses is is declaring His Omnipotence to those who rebel against Him and deliverance to those who trust in Him. For a Calvinist to say that these things are all ordained by God then that by logical conclusion means that all the evil that is mentioned here is the result of God causing that to happen, and quite frankly that is preposterous.
I hope this helps and if you have any questions please let me know. I realize there will be those who oppose what is shared here. However, these things are very basic and it is quite clear that both truth’s of God are Biblical taught. God is Sovereign and God has given mankind choices in life to make. What does God state in His Word about those who obey Him and those who disobey Him? Check out Deut. 28 and see for yourself, it is quite clear.
“1 “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 “All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God: 3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. 4 “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. 5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7 “The LORD shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. 8 “The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you. 9 “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. 10 “So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will be afraid of you. 11 “The LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. 12 “The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 “The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, 14 and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. 15 “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. 17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 “Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. 19 “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. 20 “The LORD will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me.” (Deuteronomy 28:1-20 NASB) The whole chapter is clear that mankind has been giving a choice to either obey God and be blessed or to disobey God and be cursed.