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Puritan Board Freshman
I received an e-mail from someone who entitled it "Treachery".I had differed with him on the subject.R.C.Sproul calls it "Cosmic Treason".John Murray calls it an "Internal Revolution".You will understand the position of my friend because I will post his e-mail below.But first,I want to explain that I think that when Israel was charged by God with violating His will that applies to all people.Hebrews 12:3 says:"Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself."Roman 8:7:"For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile toward God...".James 4:4:..."Friendship with the world is enmity with God."Col.1:21:[You who]"were alienated and hostile in mind..."Romans 5:10:"...we were enemies".
In the Old Testament many were the times that the Lord confronted His people with their treasonous ways.
Jer. 13:10:"This evil people,who refuse to hear my words,who stubbornly follow their own heart..."
Jer. 7:26:"They stiffened their neck..."
Jer. 16:12:"...everyone of you follows his stubborn,evil will,refusing to listen to me."
Daniel 9:5:"We have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled,turning aside from your commandments and rules."
Lev. 26:40:"...their treachery that they committed against me,and also in walking contrary to me."
Isaiah 48:8:"For i know that you would surely deal treacherously,and that from before birth you were called a rebel."
All of the quoted verses above can be applied to the human race,the last one being especially familiar.The first couple chapters of Romans deals with this also.The world stands as traitors,rebels,transgressors,revolters,insurrectionists against the Most High.That is my position.But note my friend's stance.Any feed-back would be very welcome.
He starts out acknowledging,or conceding ground to me, but then goes on a different tract.Anyway,here it is.



Posted below are my notes on this topic.Perhaps we are destined to permanent disagreement on this point,but my further study has only confirmed my perspective.I hope you will find these comments thought provoking,at least.

True or false?you cannot commit treason against God when you are not even part of His kingdom.

Let us begin with the obvious fact that everyone,including unbelievers,commits sin.There is a general sense in which all sin is rebellion against God.God is ultimately the sovereign of the universe and all sin is at root a kind of treason against His Lordship.

However,it is important to let God himself define theological terms.It is important to note how the words "treason"and 'treachery"are used in the Bible.The Holy Spirit employed general terms such as "sin"and 'unrighteousness'for all types of wrongdoing in the Bible.However,he reserved the words "treason" and 'treachery"for a particular kind of sin.We should follow the biblical example and use these words in the limited sense the inspired authors did.The following verses should help to illustrate this point.

Colossians 1:13 among other passages illustrates that not everyone is presently in the kingdom of God.Although we are all His creatures and ultimately subject to His sovereignty,He has allowed the devil a certain amount of freedom in this world,and the Devil has established a kingdom of his own.This is the sense in which Christ could say the unbelieving Jews were "of your father the Devil,"and why John spoke of the need to "become"a child of God.All of us are living in God's universe but not all of us have subjected ourselves to Him as willing citizens,just as my wife and I are living right now in Korea and to a certain extent subject to its laws,but we are not Korean citizens.

There are two main Hebrew words translated treachery or treason in the KJV Bible.The first is "quasher,"translated 28 times as 'conspired"or "conspiracy"and 3 times as "treachery."It is used extensively of political conspiracy throughout the historical books.Sometimes it is a traitorous taking the side of the enemy(1 Samuel 22:7-8,Amos 7:10)and sometimes it is a rebellious overthrow of authority from within(1 Kings 16:10,11 Kings 11:14).Either way,it involves subjects showing disloyalty to their rulers.It is never used of the aggression of foreigners or as a general word for offenses against God or a human ruler.

The second word is "bagad,"occurring 29 times and always translated as "treacherous"or "treacherously",including 5 times in Malachi chapter 2.This word is used almost exclusively in a spiritual sense about God's people and never of foreigners,as far as I can tell.It particularily emphasizes disloyalty.

A couple of key examples illustrate its usage.In Jeremiah 3:11 god called the ungodly northern kingdom 'backslidden",but He called the more loyal southern kingdom 'treacherous".

In Lamentations 1:2 it is "her friends",people you would expect loyalty from,that have dealt treacherously.In jeremiah 12:6 it is even thy brethern",again people you would expect loyalty from.

Finally,in Malachi 2:10,it is "the covenant of our fathers"that has been treacherously broken.It was to the priests ,people from whom loyalty would be especially expected,that he addressed this chapter.In Malachi 2:14 it is "the wife of thy covenant"you deal treacherously with.

In summary,God reserves this word for people who have entered into covenant or professed special loyalty,and then have betrayed that loyalty.In that sense,I say that although all sins are unrighteousness even when committed by an unbeliever,some sins are called by the special term "treacherous"when committed by a believer in violation of some special relationship such as husband or priest.

As a parallel example,consider the word "adultery".Adultery by definition is only committed by married people.A single person can commit sexual sins but adultery is not one of them.It would be a distortion of language to use the term as a general term for any sexual sin.

God Himself gives this term a broader meaning when he applies it to the entire nation of Israel and accuses them of spiritual adultery(See Jeremiah 3 for example).God is not accusing His people of the physical sexual sin but rather of leaving their spiritual husband Jehovah and developing relationships with other heathen gods.

However,this broadened meaning only applies to God's people.He never accuses the heathen nations of spiritual adultery,though he denounces them for many various sins.Only God's covenant people,His "bride"(see Isaiah 62:5) can commit adultery against Him.In the same way only God's people can commit "treason",in the sense God uses the word.


Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
My two pfennigs

I would think when a married person has an "affair" with a single person, it is proper to call them both "adulterators."

As for the main point, I wonder how your friend understands the doctrine of Original Sin. We [i:a325bb461e]all[/i:a325bb461e] are treasonous in Adam, the first human Traitor to God.

He seems to base his argument on the simple assertion that for generations we all have been born into another kingdom, whereas until we are saved we have "never been inside" God's. But even there I can't agree. By that analogy, one could argue that men have no innate knowledge of God, because they are so totally removed from him. Everything then that they do know about God is simply learned. But Romans 1 effectively knocks down that argument. Men show constantly that they have "the work of the law" still embedded in them, written on their hearts. Law implies lawgiver/judge/ruler which in turn implies that rebellion against that law is attempted overthrow of rule, or treason for short.


Puritan Board Freshman
Yes,I agree.His doctrine of Original Sin is flawed.But,also,his doctrine of Total Depravity is fuzzy.All have been treasonous to the the Lord.
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