Keith Hunt - The Natural Heart? Restitution of All
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The Natural Heart?

Is it depraved?


                                    by

                                Keith Hunt

In answer to the question brought up on a forum.


I'm not surprised there is much you agree with about Calvanism. I
Will not try to go over it point by point as you did in your
post. I will try to zero in on the foundation.

Let's go to Adam and Eve.

The Lord created them on the 6th day. They were new. Woke up not
as babies but as full grown adults. But their mind was clean and
empty. I'm sure God introduced Himself to them. Told them He had
just created them, and explained other things to them. Within
hours the Eternal has then made holy and sanctified the 7th day
Sabbath (Genesis I and 2:1-3). I have no doubt God told them
about the Sabbath and how He would like them to keep it. Then of
course we read in more specifics in chapter two as to how God
created woman. She is brought to the man, and God is witness to
the first marriage. I'm also sure the Lord would have instructed
Adam and Eve on marriage and sex and family life. I'm sure they
had some pretty good personal High School and College courses on
all this.

Now in the garden were two trees, one the tree of life, which I
think you will agree, represented the way to the Spirit of God
and eternal life. The other, the tree of good and evil. Ah, GOOD
and EVIL, the experience of doing good or evil, a choosing to do
good or to do evil. So far from what we can read I submit they,
in their natural created heart, were not hateful, were not
wickedly rebellious, against God or anything He had told or
taught them. I submit they were born (created) NEUTRAL in heart
and mind. When they woke up they did not say, "Wow, I just love
God, where is He, I know all about Him." Then, they did not say
either, "I hate God, I reject Him, I despise all His rules and
laws and ways." The Bible makes it plain that up to chapter 3 of
Genesis, Adam and Eve had not sinned - sin had not yet entered
the world. We do not know what length of time it was before the
event of chapter 3:1-7 took place. Could have been short or could
have been long(weeks or months, how about a few years or more?).

Satan and his ways and work eventually were there before them
to influence them. Up till then, they were innocent (actually
in their case they were not only innocent in heart and mind but
were actually sin-less, they had not yet sinned). I see here that
God created them with a NEUTRAL heart and mind. And as God was
there immediately when they awoke, He was there to influence them
first. They were not afraid of Him, not suspicious of Him, just
accepted Him, and were willing to listen and learn and follow.
They did not hate His laws or anything like that, from their
given and created hearts and minds.

But we know that eventually they did sin, through some help from
Satan and his world. Sin did eventually enter the world of
physical mankind. Paul talked about that in Romans, and Genesis
three gives us the details.

I believe and I submit that every human is created, now through
birth, exactly as Adam and Eve were .... NEUTRAL in heart and
mind towards God and His laws and way of life. I submit that the
heart and mind of man is not created with *hate* towards God, is
not created with an attitude of, "I just despise and detest you
and your laws God." I submit the heart of man is created
*neutral* - to not detest God and His ways but on the other hand,
not to *automatically* love God and His ways.

Okay, let me give you a Scripture that will back all this up.
Turn to Deut. chapter one. I want you to read verse 39.
Israel is ready to go into the promised land under Joshua (verse
38). Moses recounts the past and why God took them through the
desert for 40 years. When Israel sinned and God said those adults
(but two) would not enter the land, there were *little* ones, and
there were *children* (now you decide in your mind what little
ones are and children are, God does not specifically tell us the
ages) whom God *counted* as INNOCENT! He said such "which in that
day, had NO KNOWLEDGE between GOOD and EVIL." They, God counted
as innocent and would enter the promised land.

Now, God did not say, they (or some of them at least) were
*sinless* (some maybe were, for how does a one day old baby
sin?).

We can sin through *ignorance* as the first chapters of Leviticus
tell us that there was a sacrifice for those who sinned through
ignorance.

But, God looked upon the heart and mind of *little* ones and
*children* (and putting aside sinning through ignorance) said
they had no knowledge between good and evil. I submit this
is telling us that their hearts and minds were NEUTRAL to good
and evil. They were born with a natural neutral mind set, a
fleshly mind, a natural (carnal, for that is what it means -
fleshly) mind that *up to a point* in life has no knowledge
between good and evil. Does not hate and detest God and His laws
and ways, but does not automatically love God and love His laws -
it is just in neutral, and depending what and who gets to
influence that mind and a choice that that mind makes at that
time will determine whether that mind moves on to just thinking
and doing (the *verb* of Romans 8 - action) the natural working
of the flesh or moves on with God and His ways.

I have all this to illustrate from my own personal life, but I
will do that in another post as this is long enough, and was
intended to only expound on Adam and Eve and Deut.1:39.

I will continue here with my expounding of what I submit is the
heart and mind and nature of mankind as God creates it in every
new born human.
This is from my personal life and experience in coming to know
God and His word and His commandments.

I was born in a very small country village in South Wales. My
parents were *not* religious - let me make that very clear, they
were not religious, never talked about God or the Bible, *ever*
in all my life up to the time I left for Canada at age 18.
I lived in that small village till I was 5 years old (then we
moved to Yorkshire, England), and I can remember many things up
to that age, as if they were yesterday. I can remember loving the
country-side, I was only a literal stones throw away from it. I
can remember so may things from those first five years of my
life. But I do not remember *anything* about God. I never heard
the word "God" or "Jesus" - never went to church as my parents
were not religious. So I knew nothing at all about God. I was
just alive, with a heart and mind of the physical flesh, just did
what a healthy child under five did in those days. Loved my Mom
(Dad was in the war for my first three years, I was born 1942)
and was I guess or been told, a normal active child, but I was
*innocent* from God's perspective, for like Deut.1:391 had "no
knowledge between good and evil" for I did not know, was never
told or instructed that there was a God and that He had a "word"
called the Bible which contained laws and commandments we should
live by.

But all that was soon to change. At the age of 5, I was in
Yorkshire, England, and was enrolled in a Church of England
School (of course I did not know that, it was just a school to me
at first). Well immediately, as this was a Christian school, with
the first half hour each morning devoted to God and the Bible, I
was being told there was a "God" - a person somewhere in the
universe who made everything we see and made us also. Well, as a
kid from the Welsh country-side, and a lover of nature from
birth, I just looked around at everything I could see around me,
and said, "yep, I guess there must be someone like this somewhere
for nature itself tells me there must be, these things created
could not just have happened by chance." I'm being serious, that
is exactly how I thought at age 5 going on to 6. Now, I see why
Paul wrote what he wrote in Romans chapter one - nature speaks of
God and His existence.

I did not hate God, it never crossed my mind to hate or detest
Him at that age. In fact I thought is was real neat, it was like
meeting a really good all powerful friend, who certainly had done
me no hard in my life so far, so why should I hate, reject, or
despise Him, so I did not.

Then, what happened immediately on the heels of this in my Church
of England school? Well, each of us in the class were given our
own Bibles. We were told this is the inspired word of that God. I
did not laugh at that, no sir. I thought well if there is this
God who made everything I see around me, then it also makes sense
He can have a word in written language to talk to us in English.
I mean the whole thing just made sense to me, logical sense to
my young brain. So I did not hate this Bible placed in front of
me. Just the opposite, I was exited to see what it said, to begin
to read it or have it read to me.

I'm telling you the truth. I was only 6 years old, and I was like
Adam and Eve. I did not run from God, I was not afraid of Him, I
did not detest Him, I was happy to meet Him. I was happy to let
Him talk to me through His word. I was happy to read it. I was
only 6 with a natural fleshly mind. Up to that time very neutral
as far as "no knowledge between good and evil" as far as God was
concerned - I was NEUTRAL. Satan was not bothering me up till
then, because he also knew I knew nothing about God or His word
or His commandments. I was just going about my own business as a
6 year old, minding the things of the flesh that a 6 year old
does, the verb side of it, the doing of what is natural for a 6
year old.

Had I sinned in God's eyes, as a 6 year old, maybe, probably, but
I can assure you if so, it was out of ignorance, as I did not up
to this point know God or His ways. But in my heart and mind I
was to God as those children in Deut.1:39 "no knowledge of good
and evil."

It was not long before we kids were being taught the wonderful
TEN - the Ten Commandments out of Exodus 20. We had to learn them
by memory, stand up and recite them word for word as in Exodus
20.
Did I hate those ten commandments? No, not one bit. What did I
have to hate about them? I read them, memorized them, had them
explained to me in a round manner for the mind of a 6 year old. I
sure had no problem at that age with the "adultery one" - hardly
knew what it meant, and sure had no sex hormones pulling at me at
that age. That was an easy one - no sweat on that one. Sure had
no desire to bow down to some stone or piece of wood and think it
was God - so that was sure easy to follow. I already respected
God so not taking His name in vain was a breeze to obey. The
world was keeping the 7th day so I thought(I was never taught it
was the first day) so going to church and thinking of God on that
day was going to be fun (and I hardly ever missed a Sunday of
doing that up to finishing High School). I loved my parents, so
that commandment was also a breeze to obey. I thought knowing God
was real good news, so the first commandment was just fine with
me. I had no desire to murder anyone, and could see that that
would not be nice to do - no problem. The last three commandments
.... well I could see I could break them in certain 6 year old
ways, so yes, I knew I would have to watch myself there in those
three, but I also saw that if everyone was obeying them, how nice
it would be to have friends keeping those commandments also.

Hey, this was all just okay to my 6 year old mind. Sure did not
hate those commandments, even thought they were real good and
made a lot of sense. And so it went.

Sure I sinned as a young guy from that day on. But, now I knew
God, knew His word (that it was there to read and study and learn
from), knew His commandments (the big ten and learning more of
His ways as I read His word). Sure enough Satan then came on the
scene to tempt me to do wrong, as he did with Adam and Eve. Sure
enough I had the pulls of the flesh to tempt me to do wrong. And
sure enough I missed the mark at times, but my mind was no longer
without God and just naturally doing and being concerned about
the things that a natural mind does when it does not have God.
I was trying to walk with God, trying to set my mind on Him and
His word and His commandments, just as Paul was admonishing those
at Rome that they should be doing as ones not in the state of the
natural born mind of the flesh that knows not God and just goes
its own way, not being subject to God's law for it knows not God
or His law or just does not think about those things but only the
things that pertain to this life, just as I did when and before I
knew who God was and that He had a law to love and follow.

Paul was telling those Romans that they were not in that state,
for they had been called and chosen. They had been given the
Spirit, and so they should be walking in that light of the
Spirit. They had been called to inherit the first resurrection,
to be co-heirs with Christ, to inherit glory. Those not so called
and chosen were still in the natural and neutral state of the
physical flesh mind without God, doing (thinking and practicing -
that verb again) what was natural they do who are still in that
state, not thinking about God, and so not subject to God or his
law. For such in that state can not be, serving God, for they
have not been called and chosen to be with the Spirit, and serve
Him.

Ah, but Paul says, that is NOT YOU, for you HAVE the Spirit, if
so be the Spirit of God is in you, then if that is so, the Spirit
bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
Sure enough, those who are not called and chosen, who have not
the Spirit, are still in the natural flesh of their minds, and so
from the salvation point of view, being able to attain glory and
eternal life, they "cannot please God" (does not mean they will
fry for eternity in hell-fire - just means they have not been
called to receive the Spirit yet), as Paul also said in Romans 8.
Those not yet called and chosen to have the Spirit, go their own
way, do their own thing, have their minds on the things that such
natural flesh minds have their minds on and hence do them (the
verb action).

And sure enough, such who are in that state, are under the death
sentence, it is still hanging over them, as they have not been
called to receive Christ, to repent of sin, to be converted, and
to be the children of God. So, in that state of the natural
flesh, they cannot be on God's side so to speak, they are for
salvation purposes and glory, on the other team from God, and so
against God and His law, because they are still in the
unconverted flesh mind, hence they that are thus, in that fleshly
state cannot please God for salvation and glory purposes.

BUT..... YOU (called and chosen to salvation and glory) are not
in that fleshly un-called, un-chosen, state of being in the
natural flesh, BUT in the chosen state of having the Spirit ....
if so be the Spirit of God dwells in you (verse 9).
If it does not..... well you are like the natural un-converted,
under the death sentence also (until removed through being
called to repentance and Christ as personal savior). But if the
Spirit is in you, then you will not be living as the un-called,
un-chosen natural flesh ones, but you will live by the leading of
the Spirit, and put down or kill the deeds and ways (have your
mind focussed on God and the leading of His Spirit - the verb
action) of those whose minds are just doing their own thing
without God - who live after the natural flesh (verses 10-13).

Paul says, such are not you...... For as many as are led by the
Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (verse 14).
I certainly know of one life (apart from Jeremiah, John the
baptist, and Jesus) that proves the Calvinist idea to be in
serious error, and that was the life of Samuel. From a child he
never hated God, never despised His commandments. Was ready to
listen when God finally spoke to him as a child, and went on to
serve the Lord faithfully all the days of his life.

Jer 17:9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and
desperately wicked: who can know it? It seems like God agrees
with the "total depravity" of Calvinism 101.

Ah, glad someone brought up this Jer.17:9. Well do I remember
this being used and used and used with ***much emphasis*** in the
days of the WCG back in the middle 60s at least. We were taught
that this verse proved we were totally and desperately wicked
from just about birth, born that way, had implanted in us a
wicked, desperately wicked and deceitful heart.

It was one of those proof text given on the nature of human
hearts. I remember we had to memorize it.

Now look at this verse in the KJV. The word "is" - it is not in
the Hebrew.

Also "things" is not there either. So the verse reads "The heart
deceitful above all and desperately wicked, who can know it?"

With the rest of the Bible on the subject I submit we should read
this verse this way: "The heart CAN BE deceitful above all and
desperately wicked, who can know it?"

We are hear being told the way the human heart *can be.* The
context shows it. Verse one, the sin of Judah is branded in their
heart and mind and religion, and God will hold back no more, but
will punish (verses 3,4). Judah was also dishonoring the Sabbath
day (verses 19-22). They had become like their fathers who also
went astray and would not hear or receive instruction (verse 23).
Was Judah *always* this way? No, they were not. There were times
when they obeyed God and His laws in their past history. And
remember most in Israel under the Old Covenant *did not* have the
Spirit (remember how Moses wished it could have been so - Num.
11). So there were times when both Israel and Judah, as mainly
natural flesh minded (the mind born with, but without God's
Spirit) could serve and obey God, at least in an outward form and
way to produce a society God could say He was pleased with.

But hear the natural flesh heart/mind of the Judahites had
*become* wildly and terribly deceitful and desperately wicked.
Jeremiah asks the question, "who can know it?" God answers I can
know the heart, I can know when it has become so deceitful and so
desperately wicked that punishment in accordance is due (verse
10). God was going to give them according to what was deserving,
for allowing their hearts to become so desperately wicked.

This passage has nothing to do with the heart you are born with,
but has everything to do with what your heart can *become* if you
allow yourself to let it become so desperately wicked.

Truly God often sets before us life and death, blessing and
cursing. He wants us to choose life. But it is our choice to make
(Deut.30:19). We can, as Judah and Israel did at times, choose
life and blessings.

                              ...............

March 2000


 
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