The Things I Missed as King James Version Onlyist: God's Sovereignty

For years, while I attended KJVO congregations, I heard ‘God will work, but who will let Him?’ Obviously, they paraphrased it from,

Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? (Isa 43:13 KJV)

Indeed, preach that God needs us to participate in His work, and that He cannot do it unless we choose to let Him!

But…is that really what it says?

The word ‘let’ is ye olde English for ‘hinder’, not ‘allow’. In Hebrew, the word מֵעַל  means to return , reverse and has nothing to do with allowance. The same idea is found in 2nd Thessalonians 2.7.

What does Isaiah 43.13 actually mean,

“Even from eternity I am He; And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” NASB

“From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.” NLT

Indeed before the day was, I am He; And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?” NKJV

Now, here is the problem that I am running into. If God does not need us to complete His work, and Calvin is right,

Hence we shall clearly see that his supreme and infinite power is proved from his eternity; for if he were not eternal, he could neither exercise authority over all things, nor be the defender of his people, nor dispose of the creatures according to his pleasure; but since he is eternal, all things must be subject to his authority. To the same purpose is what he says, that no obstacle can prevent what he hath decreed to do, that the Jews may not be alarmed or dispirited by the forces or number of the enemies.

….then what does that entail for Salvation? Does it fall under the same category? What if we look at the entire passage?

“But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the LORD. “You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God– there never has been, and there never will be. I, yes I, am the LORD, and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the LORD. “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.” This is what the LORD says– your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sakes I will send an army against Babylon, forcing the Babylonians to flee in those ships they are so proud of. I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator and King. (Isa 43:10-15NLT) (Isa 43:10-15 KJV) (Isa 43:10-15 NASB) (Isa43.10-15 NKJV)

I must note that this predetermination is made to the corporate body of Israel, not to the individuals.

How much do those who still hold to the KJV-Only miss by ‘letting’ the language become updated?

I grew up on the KJV, and I believe that it must always hold a special place for me, and indeed, the English language – although it was William Tyndale who secured the Bible as the genesis of the language – and indeed, biblical translations. This is not a slight against the translation, of which I have a great love, but a note to the people who believe that the KJV is the only bible translation, in any language, to be used, read, or considered the Holy Bible. Once you lock yourself into a language that has changed for 400 years, and you apply your language to those words, then you loose the meaning of the text.

For those unfamiliar with the theology of the KJVO movement, it is not an adoration or admiration of the KJV, but a view that it alone is the word of God, and all other versions are perversions, most likely from the sinister sources of the Vatican.

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20 Replies to “The Things I Missed as King James Version Onlyist: God's Sovereignty”

  1. Very good and interesting! One thing, there are many verses that show that God “does” choose certain individuals, (Rom.9:11 / Acts 13:48 to give a few).

    Let me seek to look at the last from Acts 13:48….Here Luke used the passive voice (“were appointed”), showing God was the agent. God alone grants eternal life. The verb “were appointed” is in the perfect tense, showing the action that took place in the past, which results are certain and in the present. God alone brings faith to HIS people In Christ (2 Tim.2:25;Eph.2:8).
    Fr. R.

  2. Joel,
    That’s fine, I have seen this re-worked by other Anglican’s, Methodists, etc. But, it can only be what it is…God’s choice and grace alone. There are other texts also, in the negative or to reprobation, like St. John 17: 12…”the son of perdition”, this can only be Judas. It is certainly not Satan, as some have sought. (See also, Phil. 1:28.”…there are two types of people, those lost, “their destruction” (perdition, Gk.) i.e. “the adversaries”; and those chosen by grace, “but of your salvation, and that from God.”
    Fr. R.

  3. Thanks, Matt.

    It would a stretch to have Tyndale only movement, as he didn’t finish all the books, but surprisingly, there is a Geneva-Only movement, of which I have met only a very few people. They usually blend in to the KJVO crowd.

    You would think, however, that the KJV adopting most of Tyndale’s language, the KJVO folks would give him a bit more praise.

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