by James Jacob Prasch

© 2016 Moriel Ministries


So often it is the extremists that divide the body of Christ and cause unnecessary problems, it really is.  You’ve got people who are ultra-Pentecostal or extreme Charismatics who confuse spirituality with mysticism, who confuse basic emotion with the leading of the Holy Spirit; emotional impulse.  Their doctrinal theology is so often a false theology based on experience, not based on the Word of God and we know the Charismatic movement, having been around since the late 1960’s, has never brought any revival.  There was a revival among the hippies but the Charismatic renewal has not renewed these denominations.  These denominations are far worse off now than they were a generation ago; they are ordaining homosexuals, lesbians, and everything else.  The Methodists, the Reformed churches, the Presbyterians, pick any church you want that had the Charismatic renewal and you would be hard pressed to find one of them that has been renewed or restored to biblical foundation.  Now this is in no way a denial of the authenticity of Holy Spirit baptism or a properly understood manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit practiced scripturally.  It is just to say, as we pointed out many times, too much, in fact probably the majority of what we see today, in terms of Charismatic phenomena, is not genuine charismata but the term Chuck Smith once coined, “charismania.”  The theological term for charismania, the actual term, again if you don’t know, is neo-Montanism.  The kind of disorder and chaos you saw at Corinth resurfaced in the early Church with people called the Montanists and this kind of thing has happened at other times. 


But, then you see people reacting to it, even in Corinth and in Thessalonica; “Forbid not to speak in tongues, do not despise prophetic utterance, quench not the spirit.”  You’ve always had a problem with people who would do that. They would go to the other extreme.  And, so you have a polarized situation with misguided extremists at both extremes.  You’ve got hyper- Charismatics and the Cessationists, both of which are wrong and as we looked at the night before last, both of which are completely capable of preposterously false and dangerously false doctrines.  Again, Cessationists like John McArthur, actively teach the people of God that you can take the mark of the beast and worship the Antichrist and still be saved. That is as crazy as anything any Charismatic would say.  That is as crazy as anything any extreme Pentecostal would say.  Both extremes are run by people who are theological lunatics, who are spiritually deranged to some degree.  Yes, anybody who would say you can take the mark of the beast and worship the Antichrist and be saved, they are spiritually deranged.  Traditional Premillenialists never believed any of that. Traditional Pretribulationists never believed any of that; whatever your position is, that was never believed.  It is taught now.  Yet he is worried about strange fire and hyper-charismatics. Well, we should all be.  But, the alternative is at least as crazy as they are. 


Well that same kind of thing is true in many areas.  The way the cathedrals and basilicas in the Renaissance were funded was largely through things like the sale of indulgences by the Dominicans.  “Now you are saved, now you’re not.”  The doctrine of purgatory is nowhere found in scripture so the Roman Catholic Church had to make the apocryphal books part of the Roman Catholic cannon of scripture because there is one verse in Maccabees that says “It is good to pray for the dead.”  Now when you understand the context of the book of Maccabees, one it is apocryphal, it is not a basis of doctrine, it is simply biblically important history and literature.  But if you look at its context, it meant to pray that the Messiah would come so that the Old Testament saints who were in the bosom of Abraham would be able to enter their eternal reward.  It did not mean that they were atoning for sin in purgatory; that was not known to the Jews.  Well, that is how they funded the Renaissance.  Tetzel would go around and he would say “When a coin into a box rings, a soul from purgatory springs.”  And he would say “Oh your poor mother is in purgatory, ‘Sonny, get me out of here,’ she’s burning” and they exploited money out of people.  They are very much like the modern televangelists, perverting and corrupting the Word of God, reading things into scripture that are not there simply to extract money out of people for their own designs and programs.  They would sell scapulas, they would basically practice religious fetishism, again much the same as Morris Cerullo and his Holy Ghost miracle cloths to take away debt.  It is the same kind of thing.  This stuff has gone on for centuries.  Now you’ve got so-called Evangelicals doing it, the televangelists.  The Catholics have always done it, it has always been around.


Well, of course to fund those kinds of programs, you have to deny the true Gospel.  The blood of Christ cannot cleanse from all sin, you must atone in purgatory for your own.  Now Paul tells us “If an angel of God comes with another gospel don’t believe it.”  Yet, we have one deceiver after another saying it is okay to believe in Roman Catholicism, even though they have a different gospel, among other problems.  Does His blood cleanse from all sin or do you atone for your own?  It is something very fundamental, among many other theological problems with Catholicism, it is a different gospel.  They believe that salvation comes by ex opere operato rituals called sacraments.  Instead of being justified by faith and saved by grace, they believe in sacramental soteriology and they believe even the sacraments are not sufficient. You must atone for your own sin in purgatory.  It is a fundamental denial of the cross, yet we have people saying it is compatible with Christianity.  Once they say that about Roman Catholicism they will say that about Mormonism.  Paul not only says “another gospel” he says “another Christ.”   Well, Mormons have another Christ.  Their Christ is the spirit brother of Satan.  This doesn’t seem to bother Ravi Zacharias or Craig Hazen from Biola.  The real Jesus said “If anybody says I’ve come back, don’t believe it.  I am coming back the way I left.  If they say he has come back, he is in the wilderness, don’t go there, he is in the inner rooms, keep away”. But every time there is a Mass they say Jesus has returned physically under the appearances of bread and wine.  They pray to the bread and wine as the transubstantiated “blessed sacrament.”  They worship it.  They actually pray to it as Christ incarnate.  This is idolatry.  This is another Christ.  The Eucharistic Christ of Rome is not the Christ of the scriptures and you have to understand in the Reformation, this is the thing that most people were murdered for.  This is the thing that most people were murdered for, refusing to accept transubstantiation.  The other was the Papacy, that the pope is the heir of Peter, which he isn’t.  He is the Pontificus Maximus, he is the heir of the emperor as the head of the pantheon of Rome.  This is what people were killed for. 


You have to also remember that the first generation of reformers were not simply Roman Catholic priests, they were from the intelligentsia of the Roman Catholic Clergy.  They were humanist scholars.  They knew what the doctrines of Rome were but after the Renaissance, when you had the rise of humanism in Europe, then it was of course a Christian humanism, not a secular one, and they began to come in contact with people who could read Greek, like Erasmus and people who could read Hebrew they realized basic things.  Metanoia, the word for repentance, meant to repent, it did not mean the sacrament of penance.  Luther realized the whole thing was a lie when he learned this from the French Humanist Vavassure. 


So, Protestantism comes along, but as we point out in the book “The Dilemma of Laodicea”, Protestantism is very much like the church of Sardis, from the Greek word sarx, of the flesh, having a name for being alive but being dead.  Look at mainstream Protestantism. Look at the Lutheran Church across the field.  Are those people saved?  Most of them probably are not.  In fact, most of them definitely are not.  It is cultural Protestantism, but it has been like that from the beginning.  Ordaining homosexuals and lesbians, blessing same-sex marriages, this is Protestantism, this is the World Council of Churches.  It has a name for being alive but it is dead, but right from the beginning it was wrong.  Now, Jesus said he had some names in Sardis.  I am not saying there are not some true people in Protestantism who love the Lord, there are, but they are the remnant.  He tells them “Hold fast to what you have heard.”  They heard the truth, they heard the Gospel but they have not held fast to it.  No, mainstream Protestantism is every bit as bad as what it set out to reform.  It is as unscriptural as Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy.  It is what you had before the Reformation; the true Church is the remnant church.  It has always been like that.  Are there true believers in the Roman Church?  Yes, I believe there are but Jesus tells them “Come out of her my people.”  Are there true believers in the mainstream Protestant denominations?  Same thing, “Come out of her my people.”  It does not say they are not his people, but if they are his people, the Holy Spirit is going to show them to get out of Babylon.  “Woe to you, daughter of Zion who dwells with the daughter of Babylon.”  They will be shown to get out by the Holy Spirit.  I don’t deny that there are people in those false churches who come to know Jesus, but you cannot continue to pray to the dead, which is the sin of necromancy, and be in God’s will.  You cannot continue to practice idolatry, which is the Mass, and be in God’s will.  “Oh, they have to stay in the Catholic Church…”  You cannot practice Roman Catholicism without sinning.  When somebody is born again they are supposed to stop sinning.  You cannot practice that without sinning.  It requires that you do things the Word of God says are a sin--forbidding marriage “a doctrine of demons.”  Look at all the pedophilia.  Well, let us understand this more closely.


Protestantism has always reacted.  So they are trying to build these cathedrals, they are selling indulgences, keeping people in bondage and fear, ‘now you are saved, now you are not,’ no assurance of salvation.  Roman Catholicism teaches that if you say you have the assurance of salvation you have committed the sin of presumption.  That is what they teach, that is the actual doctrine of the Roman Church, since the Council of Trent at least.  To react against this, somebody comes up with unconditional eternal security.  Is there eternal security?  Absolutely!  Is it unconditional?  Let us talk about the subject of election, Elektos.  What does the Word of God really say?


You can be absolutely sure of your salvation right now, everyone of us.  And you can be absolutely sure you can remain eternally secure in it.  But does that settle it?  Is that what the scripture teaches?  Let’s think in terms of a superannuation fund, a pension scheme.  In order to be the beneficiary of a pension plan, you must be a member of the scheme.  In order to be a beneficiary, in order to have insurance in an insurance plan, you must pay your premiums.  If you don’t pay the premiums it does not count, although our present government is telling us otherwise.  As long as you pay the premiums you’re sure you are insured.  You can have fire insurance, but if somebody commits arson and it is proven to be arson, they don’t have the insurance.  As long as you abide by the terms, you can be sure you are insured.  You can be secure you are secured.  Pay the premiums, abide by the terms, you’re sure.  But if you don’t pay the premiums, you don’t abide by the terms, you have broken a contract.  Don’t blame the other party, he hasn’t broken the contract, you have.  Yet the contract remains valid.  As we always point out, the validity of a covenant depends on the faithfulness of God, not the unfaithfulness of man.  It is always the fidelity of God, but if you leave the plan, if you pull out of the insurance scheme, although the contract remains valid, you’re not a part of it anymore. 


So, to cope with this problem of ‘now you’re saved, now you’re not’, somebody comes up with a plan, an idea, a concept to give people the assurance of salvation that can’t give them the assurance of salvation either.  Calvinism teaches, in its real form, that God creates some people to go to heaven and some to go to hell.  So while you have a Roman Catholic doing works to get saved, going to Mass, going to a novena, all this kind of stuff—while they are doing things to get saved, a Calvinist is doing things to prove to themselves they are saved.  “I must be saved, look what I am doing.  I must be one of the elect ones who he created to go to heaven instead of to hell.”  Neither one of these forms of mental illness can give people the assurance of salvation.  They’ll both drive anybody crazy. 


As we pointed out the other night, John Calvin had nothing to do with the Reformation.  The Reformation actually began with Erasmus of Rotterdam’s publication of the Textus Receptus from four earlier Byzantium manuscripts.  This inspired people like Luther and Tyndall to put the Bibles into German and English.  Zwingli began his reforms in Zurich before Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral.  The Reformation was underway in Zurich before Luther.  But Luther’s rise was meteoric because he was challenging the sale of indulgences.  Everybody knew about the corruption of the Papacy and of the Dominicans and so forth.  Yet they were not saying anything new.  A hundred years earlier Jan Hus was teaching the same fundamental truths, only he and his followers were genocidally massacred by the Roman Church in the tens of thousands.  Before him, in England, there were the Lollards following John Wycliffe, same thing; brutally persecuted because they put the scriptures into the lingua franca of the day.  There was never a time when there was not a true Church but it was always on the outs with the mainstream religious establishment.  The same as Jews who believed in Jesus were on the outs with the Sanhedrin.  It has been like that from the beginning.  Remember, it began as a faith in Israel.  In the Patristic era it became a philosophy under the Church fathers in Greece.  It became a political empire in Rome and it became a 501 3(c) tax deductible corporation in the United States.  It has evolved over centuries, institutionally, into something its founders would not recognize, for the most part.


John Calvin was not even there when Erasmus published his New Testament. Calvin was a baby when that thing was coming out, a baby!  When Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door Calvin was 8 years old.  He was not even a second-generation reformer.  He was the third generation after that.  He was influenced by people like Farrell and by Busser but he had no direct contact with the Reformation, he had nothing to do with it.  It had already happened before he came along in Geneva and set up an oppressive police state that burned people alive.  And again, I pointed out, its own history testifies against it.  We talked about this the other night, spectral evidence, burning people as witches.  “The Lord gave me a dream and showed me Mary Jones was a witch” and they would have these ordeals where they tied old women to poles and put them under the ice.  If they didn’t drown, they would burn them or hang them; if they drowned, “Oh, they were innocent.”  Then this gets exported to Salem, Massachusetts.  Imagine killing people, hanging people, even burning people sometimes because somebody had a dream and they said “God showed me she is a witch.”  Calvinists did this.  If you look at their history, the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, the Presbyterians in Ireland, the pro-slavery position of the Southern Baptists, these were all Calvinists.  They had the jihads, wars, not only against Catholics and against other Protestants, against each other.  The English Puritan Calvinists and the Scottish Presbyterian Calvinists massacring each other in the name of Jesus Christ, under Cromwell, because John Owen, Cromwell’s great Puritan theologian advised him to do it.  It is an ugly, shameful history of murder and debauchery.  It is very much like Islam with the Taliban and the Mutawa in Saudi Arabia, religious morals police. A kulturkampf, a war against all culture.  It is an ugly, shameful, disgusting history that they want to sweep under the rug.


Calvin himself appealed to the primary doctrinal founder of Roman Catholicism repeatedly as his own role model.  He kept saying when he wrote his Institutes “by the authority of Augustine” … “by the authority of Augustine.”  Now Augustine was the guy who messed up the Church more than anyone else at that point.  After Constantine pseudo-Christianized the Roman Empire it was Augustine’s people who spiritualized away the Millennium.  “Now it is fulfilled in the Church, the age of the Church is the millennium….”  It was Augustine who said “Because God used violence to convert Saint Paul by knocking him off the horse, the Church can use violence to convert people.”  It was Augustine who said “We have the Church visible and the Church invisible” and he deliberately, deliberately changes one word in the teachings of Jesus, in the parable of the wheat and tares.  Jesus says the field is the world, believers and non-believers grow up together in the world.  Augustine says “The field is the Church.  We have people in the Church who are believers and people who are not; therefore, sprinkle the babies, call everybody a Christian.”  This was Augustine.  If you really wanted to restore Biblical Christianity, remember as we have explained before, the first thing you would have to do is divorce the unscriptural marriage of Church and State, Erastianism.  But, the Reformers did not do that. They simply replaced the Roman Catholic State Church with the Protestant one.  Calvin sprinkled babies and appealed to Augustine, same as the popes before him.  Not only that, his Bible of choice was the Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate of Jerome, not a very good translation.  I can read Latin; it is not a very good translation, I assure you.  That was his Bible.  He wasn’t even around for the Reformation and at no point did he ever publish his testimony.  He never, never, in anything he wrote, and he wrote extensively, massively, never wrote of his second-birth experience or anything like this.  He never claimed that, he never claimed to be a Christian by Biblical definition.  It was not like John Wesley when his “heart was strangely warmed” or something like that, a profession of regeneration.  There was no point in Calvin’s life that ever happened according to anything Calvin ever said or wrote.  That’s quite a role model!   That is their sacred cow!  Now, don’t get me wrong, there are moderate Calvinists.  The problem is most Calvinists, or people who say they are Calvinists, including preachers, don’t understand what Calvinism really is and was.  They think it is the TULIP, which comes from Beza and the Remonstrance of Dort.  Total depravity, undeserved grace, limited atonement (he didn’t die for everybody), irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints, they think that is Calvinism.  Some of them are 4 point, some 5 point, depending on how many letters of the TULIP they subscribe to.  Calvin never taught any such thing.  The basis of Calvin’s theology was Covenant Theology.  Calvin believed and taught something nowhere found in scripture as a basis of his theology. 


Calvinism as Calvin taught it is founded on something nowhere found in the Word of God.  This is what Covenant Theology is. God only ever made two covenants, one with Adam and one with Abraham; not the old and new.  When you ask, where is that?  Where does it say God only ever made two covenants, one with Adam and one with Abraham?  I mean Jesus said “This is my blood in the new and everlasting covenant.”  I can show you where there is an old covenant and a new, but where do you say God only ever made two covenants?  They cannot show you because it is not in there.  Again, they say it is implied, it is a nomane in Greek.  It is an opinion.  It is a deduction based on their own presuppositions.  Calvinism as Calvin taught it is something that has no scriptural foundation whatsoever.  He had nothing whatsoever to do with the Reformation; he was not even there.  He was a baby.  He was a little kid when that stuff was happening.  That is the reality and he and his followers did some terrible things, including murdering people and killing people in the name of Jesus.  Jesus kingdom is not of this world but he said, “No, it is.”  Reconstructionism, set up a theocratic police state.  They were Theonomists.  It is what they did in Salem, Massachusetts, it is what they did in Cromwell’s England, what they did in John Knox’s Scotland, what Calvin himself did in Geneva.  It is not a pretty history.  Now, nobody can deny any of it.  Yet they are holding to something as sacrosanct.  “I’m a Calvinist.”  Calvin never even taught Calvinism.  You can actually read theological journals authored by Calvinist historians and scholars debating among themselves “Was Calvin a Calvinist?”  At least based on what he published we don’t even know if he was a Christian, in the saved sense--don’t know that he wasn’t but we certainly don’t know that he was.  It is not like somebody like Tyndale where you know the guy was saved.  Well, let’s go further with this. 


There are moderate people who would claim to be Calvinists.  Many of them don’t really understand what I just told you. They would claim to be Baptists or Brethren or something like that.  Well the fact of the matter is, if you’re a Baptist, or Brethren, or Pentecostal, during the Reformation, I pointed this out before, in the 16th century, you would not even have been considered a Protestant.  You would have been called an Anabaptist.  You would have been persecuted by the Protestants and by the Catholics.  A Baptist person or a Pentecostal person, or a Mennonite person, or a Brethren person, people who held those beliefs, who held to believer’s baptism, who did not believe in patristic authority; in other words they did not believe the Church Fathers were doctrine, only the scripture, who did not believe in a state church, Erastianism, those people were persecuted by Catholics and Protestants alike.  Erasmus wrote about this.  He wrote the Pope about it.  Erasmus actually wrote the Pope and said it is the Anabaptists who are the closest thing to the true Christians.  Yet you’ve got people running around today, Baptists, ignorantly claiming to be Calvinists, when in fact, Calvin and his followers burned Anabaptists.  Some of them were crazy; there were all kinds of Anabaptists, there were good ones and bad ones.  I recall when I was once with my wife in Zurich, I went on the Zwingli tour, of John Zwingli and people were “Mr Zwingli this and Mr Zwingli that” and they were asking questions about John Zwingli and I asked the question “Where did he drown the Baptist,” He cut a hole in the ice and drown them.  “Oh, over there, down by the river some place….” 


Do you know what the Church of England, the Anglicans did to Baptists?  What the Protestants did to Baptists in England and in Wales?  A confused mess!  A lot of these people would hold closely to their King James, as if it is the only authentic translation in their estimation.  Well, I don’t like modern translations and I have no problem with the King James, but the fact of the matter is, King James persecuted Baptists and the Puritans of England, who were the Calvinists, why do you think they came over on the Mayflower?  Because King James persecuted them and their Bible was not the King James, they held to the Geneva Bible.  They did not want the King James because King James persecuted them.  It is like Goebel’s, “Tell a lie often enough and people will believe it.”  I see this in the media all the time—“The Israeli occupation, the Israeli occupation…”  Just propagate the myth often enough and people will think it is a fact.  All you’ve got to do is just keep repeating the lie and it will become a fact in people’s minds.  This is what Protestantism is.  It is a myth.  The Reformation is a myth.  It was an aborted attempt to restore scriptural Christianity.  But let’s go further with this.


We have these moderate Calvinistic people and I would say, all right, one of them would say “A backslider was never saved to begin with; therefore they must get saved.  They must repent and believe.”  A Wesleyan-Arminian person would say “Maybe you’re right, maybe they were never saved to begin with, but if they were, they are not saved now, they have fallen away, they need to repent.”  Either way, both agree they are not saved now, that is primary.  Either way, both believe they need to repent; that is what is secondary.  Whether or not they were saved to begin with is tertiary, it is an academic argument, it does not matter that much.  Both of them agree they are not saved now and they need to repent.  I can handle that.  I can handle moderate Calvinists like Charles Spurgeon, or like William Carey.  The problem is, Spurgeon and more so, William Carey, they were opposed by the extreme Calvinists.  When William Carey wanted to send missionaries to India the Baptists in England told him to shut up.  “If God wants to save the heathen, he will do so without your help or mine.”  Why?  Because Calvinism teaches that God spontaneously regenerates people.  He has already determined who is going to heaven and who is going to hell.  It is irresistible, you have no choice in it, he either made you to go to heaven or he made you to go to hell and that’s it. There are some people he designed; he created torture them forever.  That is what they teach.  And they teach “He makes them born again, then they get faith, faith follows regeneration.”  Now moderate Calvinists wouldn’t go with all of this, they would only go with some of it.  So, they got opposition from the mainstream ones.  This is what the Word of God teaches.  People are dead through sin.  Somebody cannot get saved on their own initiative.  It is impossible, because man is fallen.  Therefore, God must intervene and do something.  What he does is called an akintos in Greek, a convicting of the spirit.  He does something we translate normally as quickening.  He puts a measure of life into a corpse and makes it possible for that person, dead through sin, to respond to His conviction and His grace.  He must intervene.  He must resuscitate, He must revive to a degree.  Once that person is convicted of their sin by the Spirit, after God quickens them and the Holy Spirit convicts them, we can witness to them hours and hours, until they hear the voice of Jesus by the Holy Spirit, until the Father draws them, they are not going to get saved.  They are going to hear our voice, not the voice of the Lord.  They must be quickened; they must be drawn, the akintos must take place.  Once that happens, God has supernaturally intervened and made it possible for them to respond, which they could not do otherwise.  Is it grace?  Of course it is grace, they couldn’t save themselves, but they have to react to it.  They have to act on it.  He doesn’t create robots, he wants sons.  And so we have two evils on either side of the spectrum.  It is amazing how people are enshrined in hagiographies, made into heroes when they were not—Calvin, Augustine. But on the opposite extreme was somebody called Charles Finney.  Finney did not teach cheap grace, but the cheap grace that is so often preached in the last 3-4 generations does come from his seminal influence.  Finny bordered on an ancient heresy that went back to a monk in England called Pelagius, who taught Pelagianism.  The scripture says we are born fallen; because of original sin, we are born fallen.  Man is fallen.  We are born fallen, therefore we must be born again.  Pelagius denied this.  Finney denied it.  He admitted everybody had sin but he denied original sin. “You can accept Christ, just put your hand up, come forward….”  We cannot accept Christ, nobody comes unless the Father draws them.  What Calvinists will do is they will take anybody who does not subscribe to Calvinism, a Wesleyn-Arminian person for instance, someone who follows John Wesley’s beliefs, which are closer to the truth, and they will falsely label them a Pelagian.  It is like what you see today in the media.  “If you don’t believe in restricting food stamps and if you don’t believe in Obama Care, you hate the poor.”  Well that is not true.  In the end, the poor wind up being the biggest victims of that stuff, in the opinion of many other people but they will stereotype you as hating the poor … this kind of game.  You are a Pelagian if you don’t agree with Calvin.  It is two extremes.  One is as bad as the other.  The idea that a God of love created people to go to hell and to torture them forever?  That is Calvinism.  He predestined some to be tortured forever and He predestines others to go to heaven.   That is what they teach.  That is as sick and as perverted on one extreme as Pelagianism, which denies the fall of man is on the other.  Neither one of these things are truths.  They are both lies.  Look with me please to the book of Ezekiel, Chapter 18:


Ezekiel 18:23 -  "Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked," declares the Lord God, "rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? 


He is wanting none to perish, but that all come to repentance.  Does Ezekiel or Peter sound like God wants people to go to hell?  Jesus said hell was a place created for Satan and his angels.  It was made for devils, not for people.  Hell was not created for people.  Nobody has to go there when Jesus paid the price for their sin.  Now it is right to say that nobody can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him but Jesus said “If I be lifted up I will draw all men.”  But not all men will respond to that drawing.  Calvinism denies that free will was restored at the cross, do you understand?  Man lost his free will because of sin.  It is restored in Christ.  Unsaved people have no choice; they must sin.  The most they can choose is how, when, where, but not if.  Because of the Holy Spirit Christians don’t have to, we have a choice.  Well, let’s understand this.  


It is philosophical, this idea that God made people to go to hell.  Why did Calvin have the Taliban and the Mutawa, a theocratic police state?  If they didn’t like the way your wife wore her hair they could arrest her and they would publically flog your wife and you couldn’t do anything about it.  All this stuff, trying to control everybody’s life.  Why did they behave like the Taliban?  They did this because philosophically, Calvinism is not Judeo-Christian, Calvinism is philosophically Islamic.  Moslems call it Insha’Allah, anything that happens is God’s perfect will.  Ezekiel says “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked.”  “It is not my perfect will; I’d rather they repented.”  But instead of believing the Word of God, Calvinism believes Islam, at least they believe the same lying spirit that controls Islam.  Understand, there is a lying spirit that controls Islam and it is the same spirit that controls Calvinism.  That is why they did the same thing as the Moslems with the Jihads.  The Calvinists had jihads.  They did the same stuff, because of the same philosophy.  The Imams in Iran esteem the Calvinists, do you know that?  They admit that.  Well how do they get this stuff?  They talk about the doctrine of election, elektos, and they have their pet scriptures.  You know what the Jehovah’s Witnesses do or what the Mormons do, they have their pet scriptures.  They will always focus on some passages, not in light of others.  And they will take those passages out of context.  That is how cults operate.  That is how the Roman Catholic Church operates. The only way they can get transubstantiation or the doctrine of Petrine Primacy is to take the text out of context, in isolation from co-text.  That is the only way you can arrive at the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witness cult.  That is the only way you can arrive at the doctrines of Calvinism.  Take a text out of context, in isolation from co-text and make it a pretext.  Twist the context; that is the only way that they can do it.  It is sad when people do this, but I expect that from Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.  They couldn’t operate if they didn’t.  I expect it from the Church of Rome.  I even expect it from nominal Protestants.  But God expects something better from those who profess to be born again.  Text, context, co-text.  Let us look at some of their texts, in context, in light of the co-text.  Turn with me please to the book of Romans, chapter 9.    


The first lie of Calvinism:  Let’s begin in verse 10:


Romans 9:10-18  And not only this, but there was Rebecca (Rivka) also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;   for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, "The older will serve the younger."  Just as it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."  What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!  For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."   So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  (It’s all his sovereign grace and choice, they say). For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth."  So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.


“You see, he makes some for heaven and some for hell” they say.  Let’s continue reading:


Romans 9:19-21 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"  On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?  Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?


“You see, he’s the potter with the clay; he makes one for heaven, one for hell,” that’s what they tell you, don’t they?


Now let us look at that text in context and then we will turn to the co-text that it is quoting from the Old Testament:  Romans 9, 10 and 11. The context is the prophetic and salvific relationship theologically between the Church and Israel.  The relationship between Israel and the Church is the context and the theme of Romans 9, 10 and 11.  It fits right in and follows through what Paul was saying earlier, “Jacob I loved, Esau I hated.”  Look with me please to Genesis 25. Let’s look now at the co-text:  Rebecca (Rivka) is expecting …


Genesis 25:23  And the LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples shall be separated from your body;


Jacob and Esau are corporate solidarities, a personification of the Jewish and Arab nations, in fact.  What you see happening in the Middle East to this day, prophetically, goes back to that struggle in Rivka’s womb.  It is talking about nations, not individuals.  “The potter and the clay.”


Let’s look at Jeremiah 18 at the potter and the clay:


Jeremiah 18:1-10 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying,  "Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I shall announce My words to you."   Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something on the wheel.   But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.   Then the word of the LORD came to me saying,  "Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. (At one moment I might speak concerning an individual?  NO!) I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.  "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.


Three things:  One, it is talking about nations, not individuals.  Both Romans 9, 10, and 11 are talking about nations, not individuals and the co-text of Jeremiah is talking about nations.  It is not talking about people!  It’s just like Augustine changing one word—“The field is the Church instead of the world.”  All you’ve got to do is change one word!  I remember Rodney Howard-Browne did that with Corinthians.  He said “The natural man does not understand the things of the spirit.”  No, it says the natural mind….  The natural man is unsaved people.  He changes man to mind on the “Clowning in Tongues” video with Copeland so “We can be crazy, don’t try to understand this rationally.”  He changes one word and gives it an entirely different meaning.  Augustine changes one word, the Calvinists change one word, from nations to person.  The devil is sharp, every word that proceeds from…. They all like to focus on one text that supports them, just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Catholics with John 6.  But the scripture tells us “The sum of Thy word is truth.”  Text, context, co-text, otherwise it is all a pretext.  Well, let’s look at it, that is the first thing.  It is talking about nations, not people.  Neither Romans 9, nor Jeremiah 18, which Romans 9 explains are talking about people. Secondly, he makes something else from the same lump of clay.  No, Replacement Theology, the Church comes from Israel—that is exactly what Paul says in Romans 9, 10 and 11. God is not finished with Israel and the Jews, he makes a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, Jeremiah 31.  Understand, not all Calvinists believe this, but Doctrinaire Calvinism is Replacement Theology.  It is Supercessionism, it believes the Church is Israel.  More moderate Calvinists don’t necessarily believe that but some of them do. (John) Piper believes Replacement Theology.  Let’s go further. 


What is the third thing.  “If the nation repents, I will relent.”  Literally, “I will repent.”  “But if the nation does evil, then I will think twice about the good I was going to do.”   He does not arbitrarily relegate to perdition.  He does not make some for heaven and some for hell.  It is based on their own actions, and if they go against him, whether or not they repent.  He does not arbitrarily bring these judgments.  A God of love is going to create people to torture them forever?  This is craziness!  If you believe crazy things, you’ll do crazy things.  That is why they had the Salem witch burnings.  Crazy people do crazy things.  If you believe crazy things, you will do crazy things.  Just like at Toronto and Pensacola.  If you believe stuff that is nuts, you are going to behave like you’re nuts!  If you believe things that are crazy, you are going to act crazy.  It is crazy!  Look at their history, they cannot deny it.  It is not even talking about what they say.  “Well, what about Pharaoh?”  Yeah, what about Pharaoh?  First of all, he is a corporate solidarity concerning Egypt, but let’s look at Pharaoh.  Turn with me to Exodus, Chapter 3—God tells Moses:


Exodus 3:19   "But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion.


God knew where Pharaoh was at and what Pharaoh was going to do, but then in Chapter 7:3:


Exodus 7:3:   "But I will harden Pharaoh's heart” 


God does not arbitrarily harden Pharaoh’s heart.  God only gives him over to that after he hardens his own heart.  Just like in Romans chapter 1 with the homosexuals and lesbians, he gives them over to it.  He didn’t predestine them to be it, he said don’t be it!  He doesn’t arbitrarily do this.  Calvinism, like Islam, makes God the author of evil.  That is why Arminians reacted to it.  It makes God the author of sin and death.  It is crazy.  Well let’s go further with this.  Look at Ephesians, Chapter 1:


Ephesians 1:5-8: He predestined [The Greek word is very interesting, proorizo.  In 1 Peter, predestined from the Greek, it is translated predestined, is proginosko, like the medical term.]  He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us.   


Same thing in Titus chapter 1 verse 1:


Titus 1:1: “Paul, a bond-servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those elected [eklektos] of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness…”


Those—whenever it speaks of election it is always plural.  The only individual who is elect is Jesus.  He is God’s elect in the singular.  If we are in Christ, we corporately are elect because the Church is the body of Christ, the bridegroom and the bride.  You marry a rich guy, now you’re rich. One flesh, body of Christ, his Church, joined to Jesus.  You leave your husband and go find a boyfriend and he’s a bum on the dole, you’re not rich any more.  It is always corporate.  Always!  Look at Romans chapter 11:


Romans 11:28: From the standpoint of the gospel they [that is Israel] are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.


Think of Israel.  Israel was and remains an elect nation.  Nothing changes that. 


Romans 11:29: For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.


The error of Cessationism and the error of Replacementism are two aspects of the same wrong thinking.  There is no chapter division in the Greek text.  Chapter 12 talks about spiritual gifts, including charismatic gifts, doesn’t it?  Before that it is talking about Israel and the Church.  The warped way of thinking that says God is finished with the gifts is the same warped way of thinking that says God is finished with the Jews.  They are two aspects of the same warped thinking.  


Israel remains elect, but it is only the Jews who accept Jesus as their Messiah who are part of the elect.  The others are cut off from their tree.  Non-Jews who accept Jesus are grafted into it.  Now they are part of the elect, but it remains the elect, Israel is elect.  It is always corporate, it is never individual.  The only way an individual can be elect is to be part of the corporate.  The only way you can be the beneficiary of an insurance policy is to pay your premiums and abide by the terms, then you’re secure that you’re insured.  You must stay in the scheme to benefit from it. 


Colossians 3:12: And so, as those who have been chosen [elected, those].


1 Timothy 5:21: I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, do nothing in a spirit of partiality.


God is not partial and He doesn’t want us to be partial.  He is willing to forgive anybody, to save anybody.  Yes, Israel is an elect nation, but you can become a descendant of Abraham by faith.  You can become a co-heir with believing Jews by second birth. Yet Israel remains elect.  But let’s look further:




Romans 8:33: Who will bring a charge against God's elect?


That’s not about you or about me, it is about us!  If you work for a company with the labor union, for you to be a beneficiary of the contract, you have to be a member of the union.  If you’re not in the union, don’t expect any representation from the union.  Now, in my own view, unions are something that began good and ended bad.  They wound up, in my own view, exploiting and working against the interest of people they were founded to help, like the feminist movement.  It began as good and then became something that oppresses women. Well so do unions but it’s just the concept of the union.  To benefit from it you have to be in it.  The difference is, unlike unions, God will never turn against the ones he is out to benefit.  He is not like the union bosses; but, then it goes on.


Luke 18:7  Now shall not God bring about justice for His elect [corporate]. 


You want justice, you have to be part of the elect. 


1 Thessalonians 1:4  Knowing brethren, beloved by God, his election of you. [You, plural]. 


2 Peter 1:10  Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about his calling and choosing. 


Make certain of your calling and choosing.  Make sure you are part of the elect!  Have you paid your premium?  Yes, you’re covered.  Did you pay your dues?  Yes, you’re protected.  Make certain—are you walking with Christ?  Yes.  You’re alright, you’re alright, you’re covered.  You can be eternally secure, just abide by the terms.  Make your election sure.  “Well, what about predestination?”  Good question!  What about it?  Let’s look what it really says:


2 Timothy 1:9  God, who saved us and called us, with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace, which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity. 


Predestination has to do with our calling!  What I am doing now is something God predestined me to do.  What you do, your ministry, whatever God’s called you to do, you were predestined to do it.  Predestination has to do with calling, it is not the same as salvation.  We were saved to go to heaven but we were saved to fulfil a calling in this life that was predestined.  If I was not predestined to do this, I would probably be a business man or I would probably be working in the music industry in business, or I would be a medical scientist, but I was predestined to do this.  Whatever you do, you’re predestined. Predestination is about your calling.  Now whether or not we are faithful in fulfilling that calling is another issue.  They cannot show you a single place where God predestined some people to go to heaven and some to go to hell.  They cannot show you a single place where an individual is elect, unless he is part of the corporate.  Paul says to make these things sure, make your election sure.  You can be sure of it.  It is not like the Roman Church says you can’t, neither is it like the Calvinists say, we are elect.  The body of Christ is elect.  Israel is an elect nation, but most Jews are going to be cut off from Israel and most people claiming to be Christians are not scripturally Christians, they are in Christendom, they are not in Christ.  Most people that are Christians are not in Christ, they are in Christendom.  They are in something sociological, they are not in something theological.  They are in something temporal, they are not in something spiritual and eternal.  It is like signing up for Obama Care and not paying the premiums just so the politicians can say you signed up. It doesn’t mean anything.  It has absolutely no real meaning in the real world.  It is all a con, a deception to make you think something that is not even true.  There is a big difference between being in Christendom and being in Christ. 


Same with the Jews.  “If you believed Moses, you’d believe me also.”  If a Jew really believes the Torah, if he really believes Moses and the Prophets he will know Jesus is the Messiah.  I’ve said this many times, the problem with unbelieving Jewish people, and again my family is Jewish, it is not that they reject Jesus.  It is not that they don’t believe Jesus, that is the result of the problem.  The problem is they don’t believe Moses and the Prophets, they don’t believe the Torah.  It’s not that they don’t believe the New Testament, that is the result of the problem.  The problem is they don’t believe the Old Testament, because if they believed the Old Testament they would know the New Testament is the truth!  If they really believed Moses, they would believe Jesus (Yeshua) is the Mashiach, the Messiah.  Yet they’re Jewish but they are not in the Israel of God, as it says in Galatians.  They’re in Israel but they are not in the Israel of God.  The Church—they’re in Christendom but most of them are not in Christ.  The elect is always corporate.  The example I always give is this.  You’ve heard me say it, I’m saying it for the camera.  It’s like the channel swimmer. You know we have people who swim the English Channel.  They go from Calais in France to the white cliffs of Dover in England.  They’re swimming but a gale force comes up and all of a sudden they go into muscle fatigue.  That salt water and cold temperature, and then a thunderstorm begins and the waves become tumultuous and they are going down for the third time.  They can not even see the white cliffs of Dover in front of them.  It is all obscured by foul weather.  You can’t go back to France, can’t go ahead to England.  They are doomed!  It doesn’t matter how strong a swimmer they are, they are not strong enough anymore, they are dead.  They can’t make it.  So they plead “God help me, God help me” and out of the crowds comes the helicopter that says Jesus on it.  And this Jewish guy with a beard says “You called me.”  “Yes, Jesus, please save me.”  “You realize you can’t save yourself, you’re absolutely doomed, there is nothing you can do to save your neck, you’re dead, you’re finished, you’re going to Davey Jones’ locker, you’ve had it.  I’ve got to do something for you that you cannot possibly do for yourself or you are dead.”  “Yes, Jesus, you have to do it for me, I’ll do anything you say!”  “Are you sure?”  “Yes Jesus.”  “Put this on” and he throws him a life jacket.  As Isaiah said: ki elbish·ni bgdi isho moil tzdqe He clothed me with the garments of salvation and the robes of righteousness.  God’s lifejacket.  “Put this on.”  “All right Jesus, I’ve got it on, what do I do now?  “Keep swimming!” 


It doesn’t say work for your salvation, you can’t earn it, it was a gift.  You don’t work for your salvation, it says “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling.”  He’s not going to take it back, but if you take it off, I hope you’re a real good swimmer.  You still have to act on what you have received, then you’re guaranteed to make it. If you act on what you have received, you are guaranteed to make it, you have God’s guarantee!  You can be secure, you can be assured you are going to heaven. No question, if you act on it.  Did you earn it?  No, of course you didn’t earn it, we can’t earn it, its a gift! But we have to act on it.


The other example I use is the little boy whose hobby was building models of battleships. You’ve got to read the instructions.  The Word of God—we have to work it out.  No, you don’t work for it but you work it out.  It is quite simple; it is quite straightforward, theologically.  But it gets so screwed up philosophically.  Understand, Calvinism is philosophical, it is not truly theological, it’s philosophical.  John Calvin was a 16th century humanist, to the degree it is spiritual, it has the same spirit as Islam, Insha’Allah …  everything that happens is God’s perfect will.  No it is not!  “Don’t you believe God is sovereign?”  Yeah, he’s so sovereign he can limit his own sovereignty.  We can’t restrict God but he can restrict himself.  Election is always corporate.  Election is corporate, not individual.  He limits his own sovereignty.  He gives us a say in the matter because he chooses to do so.  He wants sons and daughters, not robots.  He could have had robots but he didn’t want robots, he wanted children.  He limits his own sovereignty.  Nobody can restrict God, but he can restrict himself.  God is so powerful and so sovereign; he can actually cause himself to forget.  He says that for the sake of his son he will cause himself to forget our sin!  He is so powerful he can actually intentionally and deliberately cause himself an eternal lapse of memory.  We looked at this the other night when we studied Nomane. You can’t build doctrine on opinion.  Two, you can’t contradict what’s in scripture with opinion, and three, you can’t divide over opinion.  Calvinism does all three.  The more Calvinistic they are, the more screwed up they become.  It messes people up spiritually and even psychologically.  The real tragedy is, because of the charismania, the neo-Montanism, people are going to that stuff.  John McArthur—“You can worship the Antichrist and take the mark of the beast and still go to heaven.”  They are trying to react against crazy people, they don’t see that they become crazy themselves!