Two-Seed Doctrine and Eternal Justification
T. P. Simmons, Marion, KY, 1931
One of our readers has brought up the above doctrines and has affirmed that they logically follow the doctrine of unconditional election. We take this as a convenient and timely opportunity to declare this paper's position concerning these two doctrines. This paper's stand on any question is wide open, and it is ever ready to let its position on any doctrine be known. If at any time, there are those who wish to know where we stand on any doctrine, all they will have to do to find out is to write and ask.
We will first take up these doctrines separately, and then we will show that the affirmation that they logically follow the doctrine of unconditional election is false. We will first note -
The Two-Seed Doctrine
In "The Genesis of American Anti-Missionism," B. H. Carroll quotes the following statement of this doctrine:"The essence of God is good; the essence of evil is the Devil. Good angels are emanations from or particles of God; evil angels are particles of the Devil. When God created Adam and Eve, they were endowed with emanations from himself, or particles of God were included in their constitution. They were wholly good. Satan, however, diffused into them particles of his essence by which they were corrupted. In the beginning God had appointed that Eve should bring forth only a certain number of offspring; the same provision applied to each of her daughters. But when the particles of evil essence had been diffused by Satan, the conception of Eve and her daughters was increased. They were now required to bear the original number, who were styled the seed of God; and an additional number who were called the seed of the serpent."
Our Position On This Doctrine
We utterly reject this doctrine. It is wholly anti-scriptural, and is the absurdest nonsense. It is aptly described as "a curious revival, with some modifications, of the ancient speculative philosophy of Manichaeus" and "a very disgusting form of Gnostic heresy."
Our position on the question of who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil can be very briefly stated. It is that all that have been born from above by the Spirit of God are children of God, and all others are the children of the devil. This means that all believers in Jesus Christ are children of God, and that all unbelievers, without exception, are children of the devil. 1 John 3:9, 10 makes this very clear. Let us quote it:
"Whosoever is begotten of God doeth no sin, because his seed abideth in him, and he cannot sin; because he is begotten of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." (R. V.)
The Greek verb for "sin" in this passage is in the present tense, and the present tense in the Greek denotes continuous action. The inspired writer is not saying here that one who is born of God never commits a single sin. Had he said such, he would have contradicted himself; for he had already said: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:7). He is here saying that one who is born of God does not sin continuously "as the law of his life, as the ideal tendency of his being" (H. A. Sawtelle, in "An American Commentary on the New Testament.") This inability to sin continuously is that which characterizes the child of God and distinguishes him from a child of the devil. Then everyone that sins continuously is a child of the devil. This includes every unbeliever or unregenerated person. But this does not mean that any man is, in any sense, the offspring of the devil. The term "children" in this case is evidently figurative, and, according to Thayer's Greek Lexicon, has reference to "those who in thought and action are prompted by the devil, and so reflect his character."
But that we may stand exactly where the Scripture stands; that we may maintain the balance of truth; and that we may not be found shunning to declare all the counsel of God, we must say something further in this connection. While all lost people, without exception, are children of the devil; yet in the beginning, in the everlasting covenant, God gave to Christ a certain number as a seed. See John 6:39 ; Isaiah 53:10; Hebrews 13:20, 21. These, therefore, have belonged to Christ from all eternity by the right of absolute ownership. And while before the new birth these are children of the devil the same as others (there being no difference between them and others by nature. (Romans 3:22, 23), yet they were never goats; but always Christ's sheep. This is shown clearly by the fact that Christ refers to the lost elect among the Gentiles as his sheep. See John 10:16. And also because he told sonic of the Jews that the reason they did not believe on him was that they were not of his sheep. See John 10:26. So when Christ redeemed his own, he did not buy them from the devil. They were given to him in the covenant. And in redeeming them, he dealt not with the devil; but with the justice of God.
We will now consider the doctrine of—
As commonly used, this is a logical corollary of the two-seed doctrine. The two-seed doctrine represents some as being actual sons of God, and actually united with Christ, from all eternity; and, therefore, actually justified from all eternity. Such a doctrine is equally as anti-scriptural as its parent two-seed doctrine. And we reject it as utterly as we do the other. Actual justification is dependent on actual union with Christ. Union with Christ is brought about through faith. Therefore, actual justification takes place only when faith is exercised. See Romans 3:28; 5:1; 8:1; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 6:11; Galatians 2:16. But again, in order to be absolutely true to the Word of God, we are forced to say something further. While actual justification takes place only at the time one believes in Christ, yet Romans 8:29, 30 represents the elect as being already justified. Let us note this Scripture:
"Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
This Scripture represents God as calling, justifying, and glorifying his elect at the time he foreknew them as his own All these verbs are in the past tense. Was this actual justification? No. For in that case we would have a contradiction between this Scripture and the even tenor of Scripture teaching, which represents justification as taking place through faith. How then were the elect justified when they were foreknown of the Lord? They were justified in the purpose of God. God determined that they should be justified, and his decrees are so certain that the things decreed are considered, in a sense, as having been already accomplished. This is a case of God calling things that are not as though they were. See Romans 4:17.
Are These Doctrines Logical Consequents of Unconditional Election?
Having shown our position on these doctrines, we are now ready to consider the charge that these doctrines logically follow the doctrine of unconditional election. To this charge we reply that it is most emphatically and palpably false. Unconditional election involves nothing more than is expressly stated in Romans 8:29, 30. It represents only that God purposed that the elect should become his children, should be saved, justified, and glorified. And one that cannot see any difference between a purpose to do a thing and the carrying out of that purpose, might well consult a physician concerning the advisability of taking a treatment in some institution for the feeble-minded.
[From T. P. Simmons, Editor, The Baptist Examiner, Marion, KY, May 15, 1931, pp. 4-5; On-line edition. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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