Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pyles and Oliphant on God Failing

Both Hardshell founding father, Elder J. H. Oliphant, and neo Hardshell Elder Sonny Pyles, both teach that it is okay to believe that God's will for his elect to experience conversion (time salvation) or to persevere, fails, but it is not okay to believe that God's will for his elect to experience eternal salvation fails.

In my classic rebuttal of Elder Pyle's' sermon "Will All The Elect Hear The Gospel?", I reviewed Pyle's' remark on Jesus' words "I would, but you would not" (see here).  Here is what I there wrote:

Argument # 6 (Matthew 23: 37-39)

"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! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

He says that Christ, in Matthew 23, is "speaking to leaders who are to receive woe, woe, woe." He then goes into affirming that the word "kingdom of heaven" means "where heaven rules" and that there are various "aspects" to the term, saying that sometimes it refers to the "kingdom in your heart" or to the "Old Baptists." He says - "If you try to make this kingdom eternal heaven, you are headed for disaster."

Notice how Sonny has a problem with someone believing that God's eternal purpose to eternally save his elect will fail but not a problem with believing that God's purpose to save his people in conversion and perseverance will fail, and that the former is heresy but the latter is sound doctrine.

He says that "if anyone believes that the 'gathering' is in an eternal sense, then you are forced with the monstrosity that human beings, down here on earth, can prevent the Lord from gathering his people into the heavenly fold." 

Again, God's failing to eternally save his elect is a monstrous heresy but God's failing in bringing his people into his visible kingdom on earth is sound doctrine.

In "Perseverance of the Saints" (Chapter 5)
Written by J.H. Oliphant (see here)

"It is said of him, "The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; as I have purposed, so shall it stand." Isaiah, xiv: 24. Reader, did God ever think he would save any one and yet that one fail of salvation? 27th verse, "For the Lord of hosts hath purposed; who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out and who shall turn it back?"

If God’s hand is stretched out to save his people, is it not wicked to contend that his hand can be turned back? "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning." Acts, xv.18, "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." The work, then, of conversion is God’s work, and not the work of chance or accident; it is one of the works, which he does according to his purpose. "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of sons." So that our being sons is the result, not of chance or human appointment or agency, but of predestination of God.

Our regeneration is an inheritance, which we have, not for our works, but as the end of God’s purpose. "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."

So this eternal purpose, counsel, will, is that all given to Christ shall be saved; and "Thou shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." Will he fail? Will God’s eternal purpose be defeated, and his will unexecuted?

Now, does God’s faithfulness to his Son demand that his children, redeemed by his blood, shall be saved? Unquestionably it does. He will not suffer it to fail, and...From what we have seen, the salvation of God’s people depends on the success of Christ as the surety of the better testament, and as he can not fail, the salvation of all his people is certain."


1.  It is not God's will for his people to be saved in time from their sins, including their impenitent and unbelieving heart.

2.  It is not God's will that his people persevere in the Christian faith, grow in grace, and in sanctification, etc.

3.  Or, it was God's will for his people to be saved in time, and to persevere, etc., but he has failed.

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