Three Reasons Why Arminians Are Not Saved
by Christopher Adams
One of the most important issues faced by those who profess to believe the doctrines of grace (commonly called "Calvinism") is how to relate to professing Christians who reject the doctrines of grace. Should they be approached as brothers in Christ? Should we take their "conversion experience" at face value? In answering these questions, the writer would like to submit the following Three Reasons Why Arminians Are Not Saved.
Reason Number One: Arminians are not saved because they worship an idol. By an idol, I mean "a god who cannot save." But wait a minute, you say, don't they worship Jesus? No, as a matter of fact, they don't. They may say they worship Jesus, but the jesus they worship simply cannot save. The Pharisees said they believed in God and even convinced themselves they believed in God, but their faith was really in a god who could not save them; their faith was not in the one true God. This is obvious from the fact that when the one true God come to live among them, they blasphemed him and had him executed. The Pharisees had made an idol out of their idea of God; hence they were just as lost as those who worshiped a carved idol named Moloch. Forming an image in our brains and calling it "Jesus" is no more evidence of salvation than carving a wooden idol and calling it "God." Either way the individual is in gross idolatry. And the end of those who worship idols is to become like their idols (Psalm 115:8). Arminians have a god who is unable to turn the will of man as he pleases. They may firmly believe that he is able to move mountains, cause thunder and lightning, and ordain the stars in their courses, but he is powerless before the Almighty Human Will, and the blood of the only begotten son is shed for those who are in hell in a powerless atonement. This is not the God of the Bible (Psalm 115:3, Proverbs 1:21). This "god" is neither a just God nor a Savior (Isaiah 45:21). This "god" simply cannot save (Isaiah 45:20). This "god" is a broken staff, piercing the hand of the one leaning on it. This "god" is a lie from hell and is destined to return there. And those who follow him to the end are destined to return there with him.
What was God's complaint to apostate Israel? "... thou thoughtest that I was altogether [such an one] as thyself ..." (Psalm 50:21). Arminians have fashioned a god in their own image. They are no more saved than the Jews who had done exactly the same thing.
Reason Number Two: Arminians are not saved because they do not believe the truth. This is related to the previous reason but has more to do with the evidence of a person's salvation.
Any Calvinist who defends the salvation of Arminians must explain 2 Thessalonians 2:12, which says, "That they all might be damned who believe not the truth ..." Some use the excuse that Arminians believe the important, essential doctrines of Scripture. But do they?
Every member of the Godhead is associated with the truth (Psalm 31:5; John 14:6,17). Those who are saved love the truth (Titus 1:1; John 3:21), because it was the instrument of their second birth (James 1:18; Ephesians 1:13). More to the point, they love the truth because God has predestined them to love it (2 Thessalonians 2:13); therefore, the elect sheep know the voice of their Shepherd (John 10:14) and they inevitably follow him. In fact, those who do not hear the voice of the Shepherd are simply not sheep (v. 26)! Why does God predestine his sheep to love his truth and follow him alone? The reason is given in Isaiah 48, verses 9-11:
"For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. ... For mine own sake, [even] for mine own sake will I do [it]: for how should [my name] be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another."
God's glory is the only reason he does anything. It is the reason Jesus came to the earth (John 12:27-28), it is the reason he saved his church (Ephesians 1:12), and it is the reason he will some day return to take his church home (2 Thessalonians 1:10). It is the very reason for the existence of creation (Romans 9:23). Now if God wills to be glorified by his church, what possible reason could he have for allowing them to attribute the source of their faith to their own free wills? This would strip God of his rightful, unshared glory in salvation. He does not leave his people in ignorance any more than he leaves them to wallow in their sin (1 John 3:9). Therefore, the glory of God absolutely demands that we judge Arminians lost.
The teaching that God could not, or would not, irresistibly lead his people to believe and confess the true Gospel is a teaching that presents God as being as weak and powerless as the Arminian god. In fact, that line of thinking is really the result of a very subtle form of works-based sanctification. It tacitly assumes that God does the initial work of changing the heart from stone to flesh but then allows that changed heart to choose its own way. If this were true, it would mean that such "innocent" aids to religion as idols and images would be helpful, even necessary. On the contrary, God does not allow a regenerated person to freely develop his theology any more than he allows a regenerated person to freely persist in sin. Instead, he places his Holy Spirit within that person, and the Spirit sovereignly leads the person into all truth (John 16:13).
Moreover, there are three truths into which the Spirit specifically leads us: Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment (John 16:8-11). Let us examine each truth in more detail.
First, why will he teach us about sin? The answer is given in verse 9: "... Because they believe not on me." This is obviously the doctrine of Total Depravity. Every regenerate sinner has been taught by God the Holy Spirit that he is a vile, helpless, wretched sinner, totally void of righteousness, and absolutely unable to come to saving faith on his own. Every regenerate sinner has been taught by God the Holy Spirit that unless God himself intervenes to save him, the sinner will be eternally lost (Psalm 130:3; John 6:45). The saved sinner may not use the words "Total Depravity," but he will always understand his innate inability to please God and will never believe that his own efforts or decisions were what brought him into favor with God. Arminians teach just the opposite when they proclaim that God saves a sinner based on the actions or decisions of the sinner (John 1:12; Romans 9:16) or when they proclaim that God will save a sinner based on foreknowledge of what the sinner will do.
Second, why will he teach us about Righteousness? The answer is given in verse 10: "...because I am going to the Father, and you will no longer see Me." Here, Jesus is teaching that the Holy Spirit will teach every believer that Christ, by his bloody death on the Cross, produced a righteousness that appeases the Father's righteous anger against everyone whom Christ represented. The Holy Spirit teaches every regenerate sinner about the doctrine of Limited Atonement. The saved sinner may not use the words "Limited Atonement" or "Particular Redemption," but he will always understand that Jesus has effectually established peace between himself and God and will never believe that anyone for whom Christ died could ever come under the wrath of God again. Arminians teach exactly the opposite when they proclaim that Jesus poured out his precious blood, even for those who will suffer the Father's wrath eternally in Hell (Jeremiah 6:14; Galatians 1:8-9).
Third, why will he teach us about Judgment? The answer is given in verse 11: "... because the ruler of this world has been judged." Here, Jesus is teaching that the Holy Spirit will teach every believer that Jesus has undone the works of the Devil and forcibly released the Devil's captives (Luke 11:21-22; 1 John 3:8; 5:19). They can never return to the lies and snares of Satan (John 10:5). The Holy Spirit teaches every regenerate sinner about the doctrines of Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints. The saved sinner may not use the words "Irresistible Grace" or "Perseverance of the Saints," but he will always understand that his conversion and perseverance come from the Holy Spirit, and he will never believe that his conversion and perseverance come from his own strength. Arminians teach the very opposite when they proclaim that a child of God may become a child of the devil again (Matthew 13:11-17).
Again, a saved sinner may not necessarily use all the same words that I have used here, but he will never believe the opposite of these doctrines, nor will he ever oppose them when confronted with them (1 Cor 2:12).
Reason Number Three: Arminians are not saved because they hate the truth. This reason also has more to do with the evidence of a person's salvation.
Look again at 2 Thessalonians 2:12, especially the latter part of the verse. "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." The New American Standard Version Arminians certainly have pleasure in unrighteousness. They believe that Jesus poured out his blood to redeem millions of people whom God sends to hell anyway. And Arminians certainly have pleasure in what is false. Arminianism is the fulfillment of the oldest lie in existence: You will become like God. Or, what the natural man really wants to hear: You will become more powerful than God. When Arminians proclaim a god who is powerless before the human will, they proclaim the same old lie that is so tickling to unregenerate ears. And this is exactly the point: the one who hates the truth is the natural, unregenerate man. By nature, men love darkness (John 3:19); by nature, men hate the light (John 3:20); only those who have had their nature changed come to the light (John 3:21). Since Arminians hate the light of truth and love the darkness and lies, we are forced to conclude that they are unregenerated. Natural man (the Arminian) hates the truth of God's Sovereignty (Psalm 15:3; Romans 9:20).
"But," it may be argued, "if we are saved because we are orthodox, doesn't that make salvation a result of works?" This argument is really a subtle twisting of what has been said here. No one is suggesting that we are saved because of our orthodox doctrine. On the contrary, what we are suggesting is that orthodox doctrine is a necessary result of being saved. To claim otherwise would be to deny the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit, even over the thoughts of men. Salvation is not dependent on orthodoxy any more than it is dependent on good works, but both will certainly come to be manifested in every child of God (Romans 8:9).
Again, the writer has often heard it asserted that "one does not have to be orthodox to be saved, because even the demons believe in God." But let us compare Scripture with Scripture. "But without faith it is impossible to please [him], for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). Notice how this verse is constructed: He (who has faith) must believe -- and then there are two things to be believed. Notice also that what follows is a pair of facts: God's existence and his benevolence toward the elect. James 2:19 says that the demons believe in the existence of God, and this is one of the necessary facts according to Hebrews 11:6. But since they don't believe that he is a merciful God, they tremble at the thought of his divine wrath that must someday fall on them. Are the demons really orthodox? They believe some things about God but not the right things. They believe some of the truth about God but not the whole truth. And without the whole truth they are not really orthodox. So we see that orthodoxy is a necessary result of salvation after all.
Again, it is objected that no mere human being can fully understand God, because we are finite and he is infinite (Isaiah 55:9). This objection is easily met when we remember that the people of God are those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In this way a finite human being is able to truly understand the infinite God, because the infinite Holy Spirit is teaching him.
Lastly, it is often argued that Arminians must be saved because they perform such good works. Few Calvinists would seriously and openly insist that we are saved because of our works; yet when the salvation of Arminians is questioned, the typical response is to point to their good works. They are fervent in prayer, joyous in worship, and zealous for good works. And above all, they are determined soul-winners, always talking about God and busy making converts. But to assert that one is saved because of any of these actions is a flat denial of Salvation by Grace Alone. Justification is a gift; it can never be earned (Romans 4:24, Titus 3:5). But, by the same token, these good works can never be used as proof of one's salvation. The Pharisees were also fervent in prayer (Luke 18:11-12), joyous in worship (Matthew 6:5), and zealous for good works (Matthew 23:23,27,29; see also Romans 10:2-3). Above all, they were determined soul-winners, crossing land and sea to make one convert. And yet what was the result of their soul "winning"? "... you make them twice as much a son of hell as yourselves" (Matthew 23:15). Since the Pharisees were obviously unsaved, it must be that the flesh is very good at reproducing good works without ever being pleasing to God. However, works that are done in the flesh are still an abomination to God, no matter how they appear to men.
The context of 2 Thessalonians 2:12 is even more explicit about this point. "And will all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie ..." Notice that those who are saved love the truth and the unsaved do not. Notice also that God causes them to believe a lie, with the intent of righteously sending them away from his presence forever. God hates them, as he hated Esau. Dare we say that those whom God hates are saved?
The very fact that there is any debate over this issue indicates that the majority of professing Calvinist churches are not true churches at all. There is often heard the plea for tolerance, based on the mistaken notion that doctrine is of little importance. On the contrary -- purity of the doctrine of the gospel (the doctrine of salvation, or soteriology) is an essential fruit of salvation. Being able to define "soteriology" isn't necessary; being able to state the five points of Calvinism isn't necessary; but loving the truth and giving all glory to the only living and true God is necessary. Arminians do exactly the opposite when they try to reserve some of that glory for themselves; it is not a 'sincere misunderstanding of gospel doctrine' but a determined rebellion against the only living and true God and a stench in his nostrils.
The fact that Arminians are unsaved also leads us to a few conclusions:
1. We must not fellowship with Arminians. They are members of the whore church, and if we do not come out from among them, we share in their sins (Revelation 18:4). Of course, this will mean that not only are some precious friendships lost, but families will be divided as well. But is this not the very effect the gospel is supposed to have? "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes [shall be] they of his own household" (Matthew 10:34-36).
2. We must treat them as unsaved. It does no good to let an Arminian go on thinking he has the truth when he doesn't. We should witness to them the true gospel of grace. God is glorified when we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) but not when we suppress the truth for the sake of group harmony.
3. We must be willing to exercise church discipline on those who turn out to be Arminians or consider Arminians to be their brothers in Christ. Part of the reason the bulk of the professing church has apostatized is that it is generally unwilling to discipline members for doctrinal reasons. Of course, this calls for sound judgment on the part of elders, but allowing heresy to remain in a church for the sake of building up the membership list is inexcusable.
Calvinists need to learn that the power of God does not lie in relationships with Arminians and Arminian ministries. The power of God is in the Gospel and the Gospel alone. But the true power of the Gospel will not be manifested unless it is preached in all its fullness, both as a savor of life unto life and as a savor of death unto death. The Gospel condemns Arminians as enemies of God, enemies of the Cross, and enemies of the Gospel. Turn away from them, lest you share in their condemnation (2 John 11, Rev 18:4).
Sunday, October 15, 2006
The False Christs and the True
The Word of God warns us plainly and repeatedly that in the last days, the days in which we now live, many false Christs would appear, that many would claim to be Christ who are impostors, false Christs, and deceivers, and that many false prophets would arise pointing us to these false Christs, saying, "Lo, here is Christ, or there."
As you care for your soul, as you care for the souls of your family, as you care for the souls of perishing men and women, and as you care for the truth of God and the glory of God, I urge you to give earnest heed to the words of the Son of God in
Matthew 24:4-5, 21-24.
"Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many... For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
The plain fact is, there are many false Christs, many antichrist(s), by whom the souls of men are deceived and damned. I want to be as charitable, kind, and gracious as I can; but charity, kindness, and grace will not allow me to be silent while immortal souls are deceived and God's glory is trampled beneath the feet of men.
If you trust a false Christ you cannot be saved any more than you could be saved by trusting a tadpole. We are called of God to trust, love, follow, and obey the true Christ and him only. Salvation is promised to none but those who trust the true Christ. Therefore, we are warned in our text to, "Take heed that no man deceive you." We must take heed to the teachings of Holy Scripture, lest we be deceived by some false Christ.
We know about the Christ of the liberals. He was a social do-gooder. "Of course," we are told, "he is not God." The virgin birth, the incarnation, the resurrection, are all things that must be understood allegorically. In fact, the Christ of the liberals is considered by many to be a man of very questionable moral character. Any who are deceived by liberal theology and the Christ of the liberals are willingly deceived. We are not deceived by the Christ of the liberals. Only a prating fool would pretend to be a Christian while teaching what liberals do concerning Christ. The Christ of the liberals is a false Christ. All who trust the Christ of the liberals are lost.
We also know about the Christ of the various cults. He is represented to us as a good man, a prophet, a teacher of morality, the first and greatest creation of God, or even a sort of secondary God. But the Christ of the cults is never represented as the true and eternal God. Their Christ receives his existence from another God, one who is greater than he is. This, of course, is not the Christ of the Bible. We are not deceived by him. The Christ of the cults is a false Christ. All who trust the Christ of the cults are lost.
We know about the Christ of Roman Catholicism. The papists profess that Jesus Christ is God, that he came into the world as a man, that he suffered the wrath of God as a substitute for sinners, that he died, was buried, rose again the third day, ascended back to heaven, and that he is coming again. But the Christ of Romanism is not a complete Savior. The Christ of Rome cannot save sinners without their own good works, the intercessions of priests, and the sacraments of the church. The Christ of Rome is not the Christ of the Bible. We are not deceived by him. Though many are damned by the darkness of Roman Catholic idolatry, that is not a danger and deception by which any who read these lines are likely to be deceived. The Christ of the papists, we know, is a false Christ. All who trust the Christ of Rome are lost.
However, there is a false Christ much more dangerous than the antichrist(s) of the liberals, the cults, and the papists. There is a false Christ by whom the souls of men have been deceived for years, by whom millions are being deceived today. In fact, I am compelled to say, the vast majority of those who profess faith in Christ are followers of this false Christ who will ultimately lead them to eternal ruin.
This Christ, this antichrist(s), is such a dangerous and deceptive Christ, that our Lord tells us he would deceive the very elect, were it not impossible for God's elect to be deceived (Matt. 24:24).
He must be identified.
The Christ I speak of is the Christ of Arminian, freewill, works religion.
Few think that I am uncharitable when I denounce the false Christs of liberals, cults, and papists as antichrist(s) and warn men that following those false Christs will result in everlasting damnation. Yet, whenever I boldly assert that the Christ of Arminian, freewill, works religion is a false Christ and that all who trust him are lost, I am castigated as an evil man. Be that as it may, as a watchman upon the walls of Zion, I am responsible to warn you of the danger of this antichrist(s).
The Christ of Arminian, freewill, works religion is extremely dangerous because in many ways he appears to be the true Christ. The freewillers and workmongers of this age tell us that Christ is the true God, in every way equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. They even assert that he saves by grace alone, without the works of man. They insist vehemently that good works play no part in their salvation. The devotees of this Christ will have nothing to do with the Christ of the liberals, the cults, or the papists. But "take heed that no man deceive you!". Do not be fooled.
The Christ of Arminian, freewill, works religion is not the Christ of the Bible. He is a false Christ. All who trust this false Christ are lost, too.
Be sure you understand the issue. The issue is not what or how much does a person have to know to be saved. The issue is who. Who must I know? The answer to that question is plainly stated in John 17:3. We must know the true God and the true Christ. Let me make five comparisons of the false Christ of modern religion, the Christ of Arminian, freewill, works religion, with the Christ of the Bible. When you have considered these five comparisons in the light of Holy Scripture, I have no doubt that you will see the obvious distinctions between The False Christs and the True.
I. The Christ of modern, freewill, works religion loves everyone in the universe and wants to save them. We are told that Christ loves all men alike, desires the salvation of all men alike, and is gracious to all men alike. That makes the love, will, and grace of Christ helpless and useless. But that language cannot be applied to the Christ of the Bible. The true Christ, the Christ of the Bible, the saving Christ loves his people, wills and prays for the salvation of his people, and is gracious to his people, the people unconditionally chosen unto salvation from eternity, whom he came to save
Psalm 5:5; 7:11; 11:5;
Matthew 1:21; 11:27;
John 17: 9-10;
II.The Christ of modern, freewill, works religion tries to save everyone. We are told that he offers salvation to every sinner and does everything he can to save them all; but that his offer is rejected and his work is frustrated by the will of those who refuse to come to him and be saved. The Christ of the Bible does not merely offer salvation. He performs it! Grace is not an offer. It is an operation! The Son of God effectually calls to himself all his elect, his sheep, and sovereignly works salvation in them by the irresistible power and grace of his Holy Spirit. Not one of them will be lost. Is this, or is it not the teaching of Holy Scripture?
Psalm 65:4; 110:3;
John 5:21; 6:37-40; 10:3, 25-30; 17:2;
III. The false Christ of Arminianism cannot regenerate and save anyone who does not first choose to be saved by him. We are told that man has a freewill, but that Christ's will is bound by and must wait upon man's will because it would not be right for him to violate man's will! The true, saving Christ does violate man's imaginary freewill; and I am very thankful that he does. Had he not violated my freewill, I would be lost or in hell now! The same is true of you. He sovereignly regenerates and saves every chosen, redeemed sinner. His operations of grace are totally independent of the will and choice of the sinner. Apart from his work of grace in us, spiritually dead sinners never would or could believe on him and come to him in faith. Faith is not our contribution to the work of salvation. Our faith in him is the result, not the cause of God's saving operations. "Let God be true, but every man a liar"
John 3:3-7; 6:44, 65;15:16;
Romans 2:4; 9:16;
Ephesians 2:1-4, 8-10;
Philippians 1:6, 29;
IV. The false Christ of modern, Arminian, freewill, works, man-centered religion died on the cross for everyone in the world, to make it possible for everyone in the world to be saved, but actually secured no one's salvation by his death. We are told that Christ by his death made it possible for all men to be redeemed, justified, and saved, but that his death has no efficacy and saving power for anyone until they believe on him. Thus, we are informed that the Son of God died in vain for all who perish in unbelief. Though he tried to save them, he failed! The Christ of God is not a frustrated failure! He died for God's elect and effectually put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself. Having satisfied the justice of God for us, he obtained eternal salvation for us. We were and are forever pardoned, justified, and sanctified by his blood
Isaiah 42:4; 53:8;
John 10:14-15, 26;
Hebrews 9:12; 10:10-14;
1 Peter 3:18;
V. The false Christ of Arminianism loses many who have been saved by him because they do not hang on, hold out, or persevere to the end. Among the heretical Baptists of our day, some do grant that the sinner has what has come to be called "eternal security." But it is not security based upon the will, work, and purpose of God in Christ. It is not security based upon the blood of Christ, or the operations of his Spirit. According to the freewiller, all these things are done for all people alike. So their doctrine of "eternal security" is a declaration of security based upon the choice and will of man, not the choice and will of God. The true Christ, the saving Christ, the Christ of the Bible preserves his chosen, redeemed, called ones by his almighty grace, so that they cannot fall away and perish at last. We are kept in life, grace, and faith by the immutability of his will, the power of his blood, the efficacy of his grace, the seal of his Spirit, and the perfection of his intercession
John 5:24; 10:26-29;
1 Peter 1:2-5;
At first glance, the Christ of modern, Arminian, freewill, works religion may seem to closely resemble the true Christ, the Christ of Scripture. But he does not. The one is a false Christ, antichrist(s). The other is true, the Christ of God. One is weak and helpless, waiting upon and bowing to the will of man. The other is the sovereign Lord, who wills what he pleases and does what he will! The one is supposed to be able to save with your cooperation. The other is able to save without any cooperation on your part. His salvation produces your cooperation!
Those who believe on and serve the false Christ of freewill, works religion do not believe on and serve the Christ of the Bible. They are deceived. They are lost. And they shall forever perish under the wrath of God unless they come to know and trust the Christ of God, who saves his people from their sins by himself. We must, as we fear God and care for the souls of men, have no fellowship with and give no credibility to Arminian, freewill, works religion (II Corinthians 6: 14-7:1; Revelation 18:4). We must, in these days of darkness, deception, and delusion, proclaim the Christ of God in all his saving fullness, grace, and glory. He alone is able to save (Romans 1:15-17). Let us ever adore, praise, and extol the Lord Jesus Christ alone and completely as our great Savior (Isaiah 59:16)
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
by Chris Duncan
"Brothers, truly my heart's pleasure and supplication to God on behalf of Israel is for [it] to be saved. For I testify to them that they have zeal to God, but not according to knowledge. For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God. For Christ [is] the end of Law for righteousness to everyone that believes"
In Romans 10:1-4, Paul judges those who are ignorant of specific doctrine to be lost. This article expounds this passage and relates it to the most popular of the false religionists that come in the name of Christ but who are ignorant of the righteousness of God - namely, those who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception (universal atonement advocates).
1. "Brothers, truly my heart's pleasure and supplication to God on behalf of Israel is for [it] to be saved."
The Apostle Paul shows great concern for the salvation of Israel. This is the same Israel that he mentions in Romans 9:1-5. They are his brethren, his kinsmen according to the flesh. They are not his spiritual brethren in Christ, for the simple fact that he is praying for their salvation. If Paul is going to pray for Israel's salvation, then it is necessary for him to make a judgment concerning their spiritual state, the state of their hearts. And since Paul is praying for their salvation, he is judging them to be lost. Obviously, if they were already saved, then there would be no need for Paul to pray that God would save them.
This judgmental prayer of Paul is important to point out, since we encounter many people who falsely and hypocritically accuse us of claiming omniscience nearly every time we judge a certain person to be lost. Yet these same people will not accuse themselves of claiming omniscience when they judge that same certain person to be saved, showing their hypocrisy. If we are claiming omniscience by judging a person lost, then these false accusers must say that Paul is claiming to possess God's incommunicable attribute of omniscience when he prays for the salvation of unbelieving Israel in Romans 10:1.
Again, it is important to reiterate the fact that when Paul says that he is praying for Israel's salvation, he is simultaneously judging them to be lost, since one does not pray for the salvation of saved people. Those who are lost are not believers in Christ and are thus abiding under the wrath of God (John 3:36). My point here is that there is absolutely no inconsistency between showing genuine love and concern for someone's salvation while at the same time judging that person to be lost and under God's wrath. Paul's prayer for Israel (and his great grief and pain over them in Romans 9:2) clearly demonstrates this fact. And this love that Paul and all Christians show toward those who are enemies of the cross of Christ has nothing to do with the emotions. It is a fixed determination of the will to obey Christ's commandment to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44).
In contrast to Paul, the false prophets in the Old Testament showed hatred toward the lost by telling them that they would have peace despite their worship of false gods:
"So says Jehovah of Hosts, do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you; they make you vain; they speak a vision of their own heart, not out of the mouth of Jehovah. They say to those who despise Me, Jehovah has said, you shall have peace. And they say to everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, evil shall not come on you"
Just like these false prophets of old, there are many false religionists in our day who are showing hatred to the lost, as evidenced by their speaking peace to those who are confessing one of the many variations of salvation conditioned on the sinner.
One example of the aforementioned is the person who claims to believe the doctrines of grace but who considers at least some who believe in the Christ-dishonoring lie of universal atonement (i.e., the belief that Christ died for everyone without exception, including those who end up in hell) to be his brothers in Christ.
These spiritually dead false peace-speakers are saying to those who despise the Lord Jesus, "God has said you shall have peace, and no evil shall come upon you, despite your belief in a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner." The true believer will not judge such blasphemers to be his brothers in Christ; instead, he will, like Paul, love them by judging them lost, praying for their salvation, and proclaiming the true gospel to them.
2. "For I testify to them that they have zeal to God, but not according to knowledge."
The Apostle readily acknowledges that Israel is a very sincere and moral people. But although they have zeal, it is not according to knowledge. They are ignorant of something, and Paul is judging them to be lost based on this ignorance. It is very interesting to note that Paul is attributing their lostness to ignorance alone. It is interesting because there are many people who would say that universal atonement advocates are still saved, but they are just ignorant of a little bit of doctrine (as we will see later on). They will point to the universal atonement advocate's religious zeal and fervency as proof of regeneration. These people contradict the Apostle, and by judging universal atonement advocates saved based on zeal and fervency rather than by the gospel, they show that they, too, are lost. Paul says that zeal without a certain kind of knowledge is dead zeal. This ignorance is deadly, no matter how moral, how religious, how sincere, how zealous the person is for God.
3. "For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God."
Here is the crux of the matter.
What is the knowledge that these zealous religionists were missing?
What were they ignorant of that would cause Paul to judge them to be lost?
Paul says that Israel is ignorant of the righteousness of God. Scripture tells us that the righteousness of God is Christ Himself (Jeremiah 23:6; 1 Corinthians 1:30) - His person and His work. His righteousness is imputed to His people (2 Corinthians 5:21). This righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone believing, both to Jew first, and to Greek; for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; even as it has been written, But the just shall live by faith"
This righteousness that is revealed in the gospel demonstrates how God declares certain sinners just and forgives them in a way that is consistent with His holy law and justice. The gospel demonstrates on what grounds God declares elect sinners forgiven and righteous in His sight. This verdict declared by God is a forensic, declaratory act. It is not based on any act of the sinner or any act God enables the sinner to do. God justifies apart from works:
"But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law ... for a demonstration of His righteousness in the present time, for His being just and justifying the [one] that [is] of the faith of Jesus. ... Then we conclude a man to be justified by faith without works of Law"
God justifies His people solely on the grounds of the wrath-appeasing, salvation-securing, atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Thus, all boasting in self is excluded (Romans 3:27). Faith, whether "Spirit-wrought" or "self-wrought," does not make the difference between salvation and damnation. If it did, then boasting would not be excluded. Boasting in self is only excluded when one boasts in the cross of Christ alone. Those who truly make their boast in the cross of Christ alone believe that it is His cross work that makes the only difference between saved and lost, between salvation and damnation (Galatians 6:14). What one believes makes the ultimate difference between heaven and hell is what one boasts in. In the wicked doctrine of universal atonement, there is boasting in self, since Christ supposedly did the same thing for those in heaven as He did for those in hell. If Christ's work is done equally for both the saved and the damned, then the sinner's effort becomes the ultimate deciding factor in salvation. This is a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner, and so there is plenty of room for boasting in self. Paul had asked whether or not the person believing the gospel could boast in self. Those who believe the gospel do not boast in self. It is excluded (Romans 3:27).
No one who believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ boasts in self. The universal atonement advocate boasts in self. Therefore, no universal atonement advocate believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mark 16:16 says that those who do not believe in the gospel will be damned.
If one is ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel, then he is ipso facto ignorant of Christ who is Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6). And if he is ignorant of Christ, then he is ignorant of the gospel of Christ wherein the righteousness of God is revealed (Romans 1:17). And if he is ignorant of the gospel of Christ, then he cannot believe the gospel of Christ, since he cannot believe what he does not know (Romans 10:13-14); therefore, he is unsaved. Also in this passage, Paul says that the Israelites are ignorant of the righteousness of God and are thus automatically, inevitably, and necessarily seeking to establish their own righteousness. If they are ignorant of God's righteousness, then they must believe that something other than God's righteousness needs to be established in order for them to be right with God.
And being ignorant of God's righteousness, they obviously cannot be submitted to it as the only ground of salvation. If one is submitted to God's righteousness, then he believes that Christ's righteousness makes the only difference between heaven and hell. For whatever work one believes makes the ultimate difference between heaven and hell, that is the righteousness that is established for that person. Whatever work one believes makes the ultimate difference between heaven and hell, that is the righteousness being submitted to. To be ignorant of the righteousness of God is to believe that it is not the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Instead, it is to establish one's own righteousness.
If Christ's righteousness is not what makes the difference between salvation and damnation, then one's own righteousness is what makes the difference. And that is what all who hold to the heresy that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception believe.
The righteousness of God shows Him to be both a just God and a Savior.
"Gather yourselves and come; draw near together, escaped ones of the nations; the ones who set up the wood of their carved image, and the ones who pray to a god who cannot save; they know nothing. Declare and bring near; yea, let them consult together. Who has revealed this of old; [who] has told it from then? Is it not I, Jehovah? And there is no God other than Me; a just God and a Savior; [there is] none except Me"
Note that these idolaters lack knowledge, like the Israelites in Romans 10:2. They are ignorant of certain things, and thus they pray to a false god who cannot save. If one is ignorant of the true God, then one must automatically believe in a false god. In this passage, to be ignorant of the true God is to be ignorant of the fact that God is a just God and a Savior, or, as Paul puts it in Romans 3:10, that God is both just and justifying. Anyone who does not know how God is just to justify the ungodly, how God is both a just God and a Savior, is an idolater who prays to a god who cannot save, because he is ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel.
The god of the universal atonement advocate, unlike the true God of Scripture, is not a just God. For this god sends to hell those whose sins are forgiven, whose sins have been paid for, whose sins have been punished at the cross. This idol also justifies the wicked on unjust grounds, for he declares the sinner righteous because of something the sinner does rather than what Christ did. Those wicked people who believe in universal atonement say that Christ's death only made salvation possible, that salvation is only made certain when the sinner "accepts it."
The universal atonement advocates freely admit that Christ's work only made salvation possible by giving everyone a "chance." But what is the meaning of the word "chance"? The word denotes an absence of a cause. In the demonic doctrine of universal atonement, the death of Christ only gives a chance at salvation. Therefore, according to this abominable view, the death of Christ is not the cause of salvation, for in this view, Christ's death equals a chance, and a chance is not the cause of anything. So if the death of Christ is not the effectual cause of salvation, then the sinner becomes the deciding cause of his own so-called salvation.
If Christ's work only demanded a mere possibility of salvation, then it follows that salvation can only be made certain by the "repentance" and "faith" of the sinner. So in this view, Christ's cross work demands a "chance" or a "possibility" of salvation, while the unregenerate sinner's "faith" demands his salvation. In contrast to this blasphemous view, the faith of God's elect believes that Jesus Christ met all the conditions for salvation, and since they believe that Christ met all the conditions for salvation, they also believe that all for whom He was a Substitute and Representative will receive the salvation that He merited. Thus, no one for whom Christ died will go to hell. The justice of God demands it (Isaiah 45:20-21; Romans 3:21-26).
To assert that Christ died for those in hell is to assert that He did not meet all the conditions for salvation. If Christ did not meet the condition of a perfect righteousness that answers the demands of God's law and justice, then it must be the sinner who does (Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:10).
As you can see, it is painfully clear that all who believe that Christ died for everyone without exception are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel. They are ignorant of how the precious blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ guarantees and makes certain that no one for whom Christ died will go to hell, because the holy law and justice of God demands it (Romans 3: 24-31).
The god of the universal atonement advocate, unlike the true God of Scripture, is also not a Savior. For this god shows "grace," "mercy," and "love" to everyone without exception by desiring to save and trying to save them. But since there are many sinners who refuse to let him accomplish his desire, he just gets fed up with them and casts them into hell anyway, in spite of the death of "christ" (a false christ) in their place. This god, manufactured in the idolatrous minds of the universal atonement advocates, is frustrated, baffled, and thwarted by sinful man. This idol, being formed and fashioned in the fires of free will and universal atonement, is not God.
For the God of Scripture
"does according to His will among the army of Heaven, and [among] those living in the earth. And no one is able to strike His hand or say to Him, What are You doing?"
"But our God [is] in Heaven; He has done all that He has pleased,"
in contrast with the idols who
"[have] mouths, but they do not speak; they [have] eyes, but they do not see; they [have] ears, but they do not hear; they [have] a nose, but they do not smell; their hands do not feel; their feet do not walk; they do not mutter through their throat. The ones who make them are like them, [and] everyone trusting in them"
The idol of those who hold to universal atonement does according to the sinner's will - as if the potter could be esteemed as the clay (Isaiah 29:16)!
Continuing on with the truth that God is both just and the justifier of the ungodly,
Proverbs 17:15 says,
"He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD."
In light of universal atonement, the universal atonement advocate is saying, in effect, that God is declaring the wicked man to be inherently just. Something within the sinner (his "faith") demanded his salvation, not the work of Christ. The doctrine of universal atonement would have God condemning the just, since He would be sending to hell those for whom Christ supposedly lived and died as their Substitute and Representative. In contrast to this blasphemy, the truth is that since Christ's people are righteous, God would be unjust to condemn them to hell. God will not send His people to hell any more than He would send His beloved Son to hell, since they are His body. By believing in universal atonement, these blaspheming idolaters would say that God would do the very thing that Proverbs 17:15 says is an abomination to Him.
The false gospel empathizers might say that the universal atonement advocate's difficulty with such doctrines as total depravity, unconditional election, effectual atonement, and justification by Christ's imputed righteousness alone, are not due to malice or rebellion, but due to the simple fact of ignorance. These people show their own ignorance of the simple fact that ignorance regarding how certain sinners receive eternal life comes from a hardened, unregenerate heart.
"Therefore, I say this, and testify in [the] Lord, that you no longer walk even as also the rest [of the] nations walk, in [the] vanity of their mind, having been darkened in the intellect, being alienated [from] the life of God through the ignorance which is in them because of the hardness of their heart"
Those who are alienated from the life of God are necessarily ignorant of the righteousness of Christ, for it is His righteousness freely imputed to the His people that ensures and demands this "life of God." The life of God is His favor and fellowship towards the elect sinner which the imputed righteousness of Christ demands (Colossians 1:21-22; Titus 3:4-7).
Those who say that the universal atonement advocate is saved despite his belief of the false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner often say that the reason for this is that there is enough "truth" being preached in a false church in order to regenerate someone, especially if they are using only the Bible. These people falsely think that the true God could speak through the various false propositions preached in false churches.
Some of these false propositions are:
"Christ died for everyone without exception."
"God wants no one to go to hell."
"Mary is another redeemer."
They must believe, along with the likes of Emil Brunner, that God can speak his word to a man through false doctrine. Or maybe, they (like Soren Kierkegaard) believe that as long as someone is really zealous and prays with "infinite passion," then it does not really matter what god is being worshipped. The "what" (as in what God, or which Christ) of doctrine is unimportant. What matters is the "how" (as in how moral and zealous I am, despite my ignorance of the righteousness of God). The persons Paul called down the wrath of God upon in Galatians 1:8-9 were surely using the Scriptures that contained the true gospel.
But when the true gospel contained in the Scriptures is perverted by untaught and unstable men, it ceases to be the power of God unto salvation
(Romans 1:16; 2 Peter 3:16).
4. "For Christ [is] the end of Law for righteousness to everyone that believes."
This doctrine in verse 4 is what the Israelites and all who are going about to establish a righteousness of their own, including all universal atonement advocates, are ignorant of.
This verse means that righteousness does not come through our own efforts but through the righteousness of Christ. The function of God's Law was to show forth His perfect standard of righteousness so His people would rest in a Substitute who would and did meet that perfect standard of righteousness on their behalf (Galatians 3:24).
This righteousness of Christ that is imputed to His people demands their salvation in the same way that Adam's sin imputed to his posterity demanded their condemnation (Romans 5:18). To believe that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness is to believe that Christ met and answered all the righteous demands of God's Law. The demands of God's Law are twofold: First, death as the wages of sin, the transgression of the Law; second, perfect righteousness as the condition for eternal life (Leviticus 18:5; Romans 10:5).
In other words, to believe that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness is to believe that His blood and righteousness met in full the demands of God's holy Law (death for sin) and fulfilled the condition of perfect obedience for eternal life. Christ, therefore, secured and demanded the salvation of all whom He represented in His life, death, and resurrection. Thus, all for whom Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again will go to heaven (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10), and all for whom Jesus Christ did not live, die, and rise again will go to hell (2 Corinthians 2:15-16). Those who believe that Christ is the end of Law for righteousness believe that His righteousness is what makes the difference between eternal life and eternal death.
All regenerate persons believe that Christ is the end of Law for righteousness. "End of Law" means that Christ's righteousness answers the demands of God's Law. God's Law demands that the sinner "do this and live." Or, as Romans 10:5 states it, "The man doing these things shall live by them." Sinful man has not done this, nor is he able to do this; thus, all who do not have perfect righteousness, which are all sinners without exception, are cursed by God.
For it is written,
"For as many as are out of works of Law, [these] are under a curse. For it is written, Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all the things having been written in the book of the Law, to do them"
But Christ became a curse on behalf of His people and He purchased for them the promise of the Holy Spirit. The obedience and blood of Christ guarantee and demand that all for whom He died will, without fail, receive the gift of eternal life
Therefore, those for whom Christ did not become a curse will remain cursed, since the purpose of Christ in redeeming His people from the curse of the Law was that they should receive the promised Holy Spirit. The condition for receiving the Holy Spirit (eternal life) is perfect righteousness, which Christ alone has met. So if eternal life comes through the sinner's efforts in any way, shape, or form, then Christ died for nothing (Galatians 2:21).
The blasphemous view of universal atonement has Christ dying for everyone without exception (even those who will eventually go to hell). In this view, Christ is not the end of the Law for righteousness; the work of Christ does not demand the salvation of anyone. Rather, it is the sinner's willing, working, and/or running that demands that sinner's salvation. In this view, the mercy of God in Christ is not the only basis for the sinner's salvation; rather, it is the sinner's efforts that form the ground of salvation (Romans 9:16).
The true gospel believer believes that the righteousness that Christ established for them makes the only difference between saved and lost, and they are thus submitted to it. The universal atonement advocate believes that it is the "righteousness" of the sinner that he establishes for himself that makes the ultimate difference between saved and lost, showing his deadly ignorance of the Biblical Christ who is the end of the Law for righteousness. That is, the universal atonement advocate is confused about whose righteousness demands and ensures salvation. The universal atonement advocate vainly supposes that he at least helped to fulfill all righteousness and so merits everlasting life. He must not believe that Christ alone fulfilled all righteousness, because if he did, he would understand that this righteousness of Christ imputed to His people demands and ensures their salvation (Romans 5:15-19). He thinks his "faith" demanded salvation, while Christ's righteousness just made salvation possible. What blasphemous dung.
Being submitted to the righteousness of God means that one believes Christ "did this and lived" (Romans 10:4-5) in the stead of His people. It means that one believes that Christ's obedience and death satisfied the demands of God's law and justice. God demonstrated that He was pleased with Christ's righteousness and was appeased by His bloody death by raising Him from the dead. And since Christ was not acting for Himself but as a Representative and Substitute for His people, all sinners for whom He lived and died will be freely given eternal life (Romans 6:23).
Jesus said in John 14:19,
"Because I live, you shall live also."
Christ's substitutionary death and resurrection guarantees that everyone for whom He was a Substitute and Representative will be raised to spiritual life. All those for whom Christ died will certainly be given life (Romans 6:3-5). The reason for this is that salvation is not conditioned on the sinner's efforts but on the work of Christ alone. Christ was raised for His people's justification (Romans 4:25), and His righteousness imputed to them demands that they be regenerated and raised with Him to be seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5-6).
In Romans 10:1-4, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul is saying that those who do not know about and thus do not believe this righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel are unregenerate. They are very zealous at their religion, but they are lacking knowledge. And that knowledge is the knowledge of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel. If you do not have this specific knowledge, then you are lost.
If you believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception, then you do not believe that God is both just and justifier. You are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel. And, as Romans 10:3 says, all who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are seeking to establish their own righteousness. You set up a carved image of your own vain and blasphemous imagining. You pray to a god who cannot save, since your god (idol) wanted to save those sinners who end up in hell but is not able to accomplish his desire. This god is certainly not the God of the Bible, for the true and living God of the Bible accomplishes all His purposes and does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3, Isaiah 46:10-11, John 6:36-39).
You believe that your "christ" died for those in hell. The true Christ did not die for those in hell. Thus, you do not believe in the true Christ. If you believe that Jesus died for everyone without exception, then you do not believe that it is Christ's work alone, His righteousness alone, that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Instead, you are seeking your own righteousness that, to you, makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Whatever you think makes the difference between salvation and damnation is the righteousness that is established for you.
If you believe that Christ died for everyone without exception, then it is your own effort that is your righteousness, and God will not accept it. If you think that what you do recommends you to God or entitles you to heaven in any way to any degree, then you are pleading yourself as your righteousness. You may have zeal, but it is not according to knowledge (Romans 10:2). And ignorance in this area, which is the very heart of the gospel, is deadly. You need to repent of your evil thoughts and deeds, and believe the gospel in which the righteousness of God is revealed through the effectual work of Jesus Christ.
If you claim to believe in the true gospel, yet also believe that some universal atonement advocates are saved persons, then you deny that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone believing (Romans 1:17).
You either think that
(1) not all regenerate persons believe the gospel,
(2) the gospel includes universal atonement, or
(3) belief of the gospel does not include the knowledge of the righteousness of God apart from the sinner's efforts (Romans 3:21).
You are not submitted to the righteousness of God, since you believe that those who are ignorant of this righteousness are nevertheless saved persons. You contradict, and thus deny, Romans 10:1-4. You, just like the universal atonement advocate, may have zeal, but it is not according to knowledge. And ignorance in this area, which is the very heart of the gospel, is deadly. You, just like the universal atonement advocate, need to repent of your evil thoughts and deeds, and believe the gospel in which the righteousness of God is revealed through the effectual work of Jesus Christ.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Dave Hunt's False Gospel
““Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Timothy 1:17
It is necessary that we continue to blow the trumpet regarding the dismal and frightening state of what passes as church and continues to function under the banner of the Christian faith. As the so-called “evangelical” forces are arrayed and sent marching to the far corners of the globe, a diabolical spectacle becomes ever clearer to those who have eyes to see. People who claim the name of Christ have stopped their ears to any talk of doctrine, unconcerned with the actual CONTENT of the Gospel being spread. It is as if they were to say, “I care not what gospel is preached, just be sure to preach more of it and make certain that it is heard!” Just as the Word of God is our spiritual food, we might ask if these same people would give just any food to children, regardless of its contents. “But sir”, we would exclaim “that bread is laced with rat poison!” “Shut up, you vile attacker!” they shout, “Are you anti-bread? Do you hate children? Why must you waste your time on boring details and in viciously attacking others when people are starving?”
In other words, it matters not that we are RIGHT, so long as we are NICE. It matters not WHAT we preach, only THAT we preach.
I have been inundated with correspondence similar to this regarding my necessary public rebuke of Dave Hunt: “Jesus didn’t bash other people, he told us to fulfill the Great Commission, not to sit around attacking other Christians”. I must ask these people, would you encourage us to spread a reductionist, lying Gospel, and do it in our Lord’s name? Are we satisfied with numbers and not concerned one whit with the eternal address of those we evangelize? Are our emotions stroked by false and manipulative “conversions” irrespective of the reality of the faith we claim? Have you ever really studied the ministry of Jesus Christ? Jesus not only bashed liars and religious deceivers as serpents and children of the devil, he specifically told us WHY they do what they do. In short, he attacked their MOTIVES.
The Lies and Manipulations of Dave Hunt
When our eyes and attentions are held by the ostentatious spectacles of pop apostasy spewed by those religious television, publishing and mass media hucksters, we may miss the more devious and dangerous wolves who sneak into the sheepfold unawares. The more dangerous wolves do not wear flashy suits and gaudy jewelry. These foul wordsmiths are not shrouded in prosperity dogma and mystic miracle hooliganism. Instead they are steeped in copious footnotes, literary doublespeak and they spread their lies with poisoned pens that more cleverly disguise their forked tongues.
Take Dave Hunt… please.
Dave Hunt rightly claims in his newsletter that, “public teaching of false doctrine and publicly known sin must both be rebuked publicly.” But then, in the same newsletter he states “From the context and the remainder of Scripture, it seems clear that Christ was warning us not to judge motives, because these are hidden from us.” It seems that, according to Dave Hunt, we are free to expose the lies of the modern day Pharisees but we dare not expose their motivations. Does this philosophy line up with scripture? Or is this a defense mechanism designed to protect the fountain from which heresy flows?
It is evident that Jesus, in His earthly ministry, not only exposed the errors of the commonly preached religious dogmas, but He also exposed the ROOT of those errors, that being the motivations behind the lies. Jesus not only told the religious rulers that they erred (Matt. 22:29, Mark 12:27), but He told them WHY they erred.
In Mark 12:38-39, Jesus told them that they “love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts.” Jesus goes far beyond the errors taught by the scribes and rulers, but exposes their very hearts. The desire to garner attention and power is their MOTIVE.
As to motives, examine this: “He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (John 8:47) How’s that for a motive? Jesus didn’t just challenge the doctrines of liars; He told them that they were not of God!
Jesus told the heretics of His day that they worked their evil counsel because they were motivated by their father. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” The children of the devil are inexorably and unalterably inclined to do the works of their father. They WILL do the lusts of their father, because they are their father’s sons.
In the second chapter of 2nd Peter, Peter speaks of false prophets who bring in “damnable heresies” (verse 1), but interestingly enough, Peter goes on to expose their MOTIVES. Why do they do what they do? They operate through “covetousness” (verse 3). They “walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness” (verse 10). Then Peter goes on a deeper dissertation of their motives: “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not and shall utterly perish in their own corruption” (verse 12).
He continues at some length, but our point is made. The most pressing point made here is that these covetous beasts were MADE for the specific purpose of being taken and destroyed, just as is promised in the Psalms, where it is prophesied to the Son of God, “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” For is it not said of that same Potter, “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9:21). That great Potter, who by His own counsel and for His own purposes hath made both vessels, shall lift up the one and dash the other in pieces.
But Dave Hunt will claim that it “seems” clear that Christ was warning us not to judge motives. Dave Hunt, according to the bio on the back of his latest book, has sold more than 4 million copies of his various books. His most well known book, A Woman Rides the Beast, is a popular treatise on the corrupt and evil Catholic Church of Rome. He preaches from pulpits all across America and the world, and he is embraced by the largest and most active ministries worldwide. Hunt is well known as an able debater, predominantly debating Roman Catholics or Catholic sympathizers. It would seem that Hunt is vehemently anti-Catholic, but is he?
Let me show you one reason why it is critically important that we examine the motives of those who preach from our pulpits.
The following comes from the complete Ceremony of Induction and Extreme Oath of the Jesuits, published in 1883.
Note what they are willing to do to serve the Pope:
“My son, heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler… and to be a spy even among your own brethren; to believe no man, to trust no man. Among the Reformers, to be a Reformer… among the Protestants, generally to be a Protestant; and obtaining their confidence to seek even to preach from their pulpits, and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope; and even to descend so low as to become a Jew among the Jews, that you might be enabled to gather together all information for the benefit of your Order as a faithful soldier of the Pope.”
It may not be important to you to judge WHY Dave Hunt lies, but it might be critical to understand THAT he does. The fact that Dave Hunt, after years of positioning himself as the ultimate enemy of the Catholic Church, now publishes lies, manipulations and heresies, while fully embracing the doctrines of the Jesuit order and the Catholic Council of Trent, should give us pause to examine the man.
“And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
Arminians and Papists hate this scripture with a passion. They hate it for ample reasons:
1. It destroys their theology and places the entire glory for salvation on Christ and not on man.
2. It teaches that God is glorified through the manifestation of His power through His ordination of those who will receive eternal life.
3. It eradicates the Catholic concept of co-operative redemption.
Nothing ought to rile the righteous anger and outrage of the children of God more than the blatant attempts by liars and rogues to change Holy Writ to fit their lying ambitions and heresies. Liberal, anti-God and homosexual “theologians” have bombarded the world with vile and despicable “translations” of the Bible for more than a century.
Blatant attempts to bastardize the word of God are rampant, and once again we must discuss motives. These wolves have every intention of destroying faith in God’s Word.
Let’s examine Dave Hunt’s offering to the pagan gods of religious relativism. In his recent book, What Love is This?, Hunt claims on page 54 that the King James Bible is tainted by the Latin Vulgate, which in turn was tainted by “Augustinianism”. Hunt also claims that the earlier God-breathed versions such as the Geneva Bible and the Tyndale New Testament were “filled with Calvinism in the text as well as in the voluminous notes”.
So according to Dave Hunt, you cannot trust your Bible! Hunt’s ridiculous claims that the King James Version, and specifically this verse in Acts, is tainted by the Latin Vulgate are an out and out lie as we will show. Just as Hunt, throughout his blasphemous book, attempts to belittle the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation, so does he also bring a railing accusation against the Holy Spirit’s ability to maintain and protect God’s Word in the language of the people.
Although history clearly shows that William Tyndale utilized the Vulgate only as a reference work, it is also plain to any serious student that Tyndale was automatically skeptical of the Vulgate, which he considered to be tainted by the Church of Rome. The historical evidence that Tyndale studiously learned Hebrew and Greek, and even learned German so that he could utilize Luther’s German New Testament, puts the “lie” to Hunt’s outrageous claims.
What Hunt is trying to do is assemble a straw man, one which he believes he can more easily topple than he can the full edifice of God-breathed scripture. Hunt went on a fishing expedition to see how many liberal theologians he could enlist to bolster his argument. In the end, Hunt claims that although all the major translations show either this rendering or something near to it, it “is at best a questionable rendering”, and thus “the experts disagree”.
But the experts most certainly do NOT disagree. Certainly the Jesuit, homosexual, new age and ultra-liberal “experts” might disagree, but not anyone who is motivated by truth and the search for God’s purpose and will. Even one of the most bastardized and adulterated versions, the NIV, does better than Hunt in translating this verse. The NIV renders the word “ordained” as “appointed”, which still delineates clearly who is the actor and who is the one acted upon in the sentence. But it seems that even the NIV isn’t liberal enough for Dave Hunt. He would take this verse even farther into the pit.
The DHV (Dave Hunt Version) would have Acts 13:48 say this: “As many as ‘disposed themselves’ to eternal life believed.”
Dave Hunt inverts the worker and the workmanship. The Bible declares that God is the worker, and we are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), but Dave Hunt would call God a liar, declaring that we are both the worker AND the workmanship - and that fallen man, totally dead in sins and trespasses, must “dispose” himself to eternal life in order to be saved.
Dave Hunt’s scriptural gymnastics are parroted by those in the “Christian” media. Marty Stacy of KCRO in Omaha, Nebraska parrots the Dave Hunt mistranslation of this verse (a verse which they MUST attempt to destroy, because in it the Gospel of Grace is plainly declared). Stacy writes: “Many are unaware of the Greek in the verse which might be alternatively translated: ‘and as many as were putting themselves in a position for eternal life, believed’ or ‘and as many as were lining themselves up in a position for eternal life, believed’.
Dave Hunt admits that the Greek word that is translated here is the word TASSO (5021).
I invite everyone here to go to STRONG's and we will examine the Greek definition of this word.:
(5021) TASSO - a prolonged form of a primary verb (which latter appears only in certain tenses); to arrange in an orderly manner, i.e. ASSIGN OR DISPOSE (to a certain position or lot):--addict, appoint, determine, ordain, set.
In no way can this verse be twisted in the manner in which Dave Hunt and Marty Stacy have twisted it! The respected Matthew Henry wrote it thusly: “Those came to Christ whom the Father drew, and to whom the Spirit made the gospel call effectual, (Rom.8:30). As many as were disposed to eternal life, as many as had concern about their eternal state, and aimed to make sure of eternal life, believed in Christ, in whom God has treasured up that life, and who is the only Way to it; and it was the grace of God that wrought it in them.”
So the declaration is plainly made in this scripture that it is the Father who called these to eternal life, and the Holy Spirit who wrought this work in them. What blasphemy to defile and despise the gift of God and place its origin in man.
Dave Hunt begins his attack with a scurrilous and baseless attack on every God-breathed English Version up to and including the King James Version. Then, as if he has proved some point merely by causing questions and doubts in the mind of Bible students, he still arrives at the same Greek word as the “original” text from which we are to start. But, according to Hunt, we should not heed those mighty men of God, like William Tyndale, who were burned to death for daring to challenge the CATHOLIC interpretation of these scriptures. Hunt cannot have us heed Tyndale (90% of the KJV is derived from Tyndale’s New Testament) because if you believe the Bible, you must declare Dave Hunt a liar. You cannot have it both ways. Either the Bible lies, or Dave Hunt does. Either William Tyndale is a liar, or Dave Hunt is.
A HORRENDOUS ASSAULT ON THE TRUTH
To defend his position on Acts 13:48, Dave Hunt quotes from the noted Greek expert A.T. Robertson: “There is no evidence that Luke had in mind an absolutum decretum of personal salvation…” (Quoted in “What Love is This? By Dave Hunt, page 211). Dave Hunt finishes Robertson’s quote there, and would have us believe that Robertson agrees with his perverted translation of the word. For the record, Hunt is quoting from Robertson in his The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. But unfortunately for Hunt, Robertson continues, and in so doing proves that he absolutely DOES NOT agree with Dave Hunt’s proposition:
“It was saving faith that was exercised only by those who were appointed unto eternal life, who were ranged on the side of eternal life, who were thus revealed as the subjects of God's grace by the stand that they took on this day for the Lord. It was a great day for the kingdom of God.” (emphasis added) – The Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament - Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.
Why would Dave Hunt lie about what A.T. Robertson believes about Acts 13:48?
What was his motive?
…Among the Reformers, to be a Reformer… among the Protestants, generally to be a Protestant; and obtaining their confidence to seek even to preach from their pulpits…
On the back cover, in the “exceptional endorsements” of Hunt’s new book - there is this quote from Hunt’s buddy Tim LaHaye:
“Calvinism… comes perilously close to blasphemy. And that is why I congratulate Dave Hunt for writing this excellent clarification of the doctrine…”
That Dave Hunt chose this quote for the back cover of his book shows that he clearly agrees with Tim LaHaye. So Dave Hunt believes that “Calvinism” (a term concocted by Arminians) is perilously close to blasphemy? Strangely enough, in his last newsletter, Dave Hunt and his partner T.A. McMahon chose to utilize a quote from Charles Spurgeon, a man that, by Hunt’s own judgment, must be a blasphemer.
Spurgeon said this about the “nickname” Calvinism:
“I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the Sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints "fall away" after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus-such a gospel I abhor.”
In his Berean Call newsletter, Hunt includes a quote from the great preacher Charles Spurgeon in order to emphasize a point in his continued but feigned attack on the Catholic Church. But let’s examine what Spurgeon has to say about Dave Hunt:
“Men hate election just as thieves hate Chubb's patent locks; because they cannot get at the treasure themselves, they therefore hate the guard which protects it. Now election shuts up the precious treasury of God's covenant blessings for his children-for penitents, for seeking sinners. These men will not repent, will not believe; they will not go God's way, and then they grumble and growl, and fret, and fume, because God has locked the treasure up against them. Let a man once believe that all the treasure within is his, and then the stouter the bolt, and the surer the lock, the better for him. Oh, how sweet it is to believe our names were on Jehovah's heart, and graven on Jesus' hands before the universe had a being! May not this electrify a man of joy, and make him dance for very mirth? Chosen of God ere time began. Come on, slanderers! rail on as pleases you.
Come on thou world in arms! Cataracts of trouble descend if you will, and you, ye floods of affliction, roll if so it be ordained, for God has written my name in the book of life. Firm as this rock I stand, though nature reels and all things pass away. What consolation then to be called: for if I am called, then I am predestinated.” - Charles Haddon Spurgeon - Predestination and Calling
Interestingly enough, we are not the only ones to call Dave Hunt to task for his prevarications, scriptural gymnastics and overt rascalism. The Arminians are just as mad! In his defense of Jacobus Arminius, Hunt attempts to prove that Arminius actually believed in the security of the believer, the one “Calvinist” viewpoint with which Dave Hunt agrees. The admitted Arminian Dan Corner of Evangelical Outreach recently wrote an open letter concerning Dave Hunt entitled: Dave Hunt's Dangerous Misrepresentation Of Arminius.
“Hunt's dangerous misrepresentation of Arminius is stated on pp. 76, 77: He [Arminius] also, with these words, defended himself against the false charge that he taught the doctrine of falling away: "At no period have I asserted ‘that believers do finally decline or fall away from faith or salvation.'"
It seems that Hunt… actually misread what Arminius wrote, has lifted this statement entirely out of its context, just like he (does) to try to make the Scriptures teach eternal security. The entire context of what Hunt quotes… from Arminius is cited below:
From: Jacobus Arminius, The Works of James Arminius, trans. James and William Nichols [Baker Book House, 1986], Vol. 1, pp. 741, 742. II. With regard to the Second Article, I say, that a distinction ought to be made between power and action. For it is one thing to declare, that "it is possible for the faithful to fall away from faith and salvation," and it is another to say, that "they do actually fall away”… I subjoin, that there is a vast difference between the enunciation of these two sentences: (1.) "It is possible for believers to decline from the FAITH;" and (2.) "It is possible for believers to decline from SALVATION." For the latter, when rigidly and accurately examined, can scarcely be admitted;-it being impossible for believers, as long as they remain believers, to decline from salvation. Because, were this possible, that power of God would be conquered which he has determined to employ in saving believers. On the other hand, if believers fall away from the faith and become unbelievers, it is impossible for them to do otherwise than decline from salvation,-that is, provided they still continue unbelievers.”
It is evident to any fair observer that Arminius believed that believers could lose their salvation. So Hunt has a terrible problem in that he is now being shown to be a concocter and a liar from both the proponents of Arminianism and by the proponents of God’s doctrines of Grace.
What could possibly be his motive? A quick check of Hunt’s “exceptional endorsements” shows a veritable “who’s who” of hyper-dispensationalist preachers. Almost all are, strangely enough, Arminian teachers who have somehow stubbornly held on to the doctrine of eternal security for the sake of maintaining their Protestant credentials.
Look where Hunt preaches. He is a regular at Chuch Smith’s Calvary Chapel, and he is embraced by Chuck Missler, Tim LaHaye, Joseph Chambers and Bob Wilkin.
To fully embrace Arminianism would cost Hunt dearly. Remember that one of the goals of the Jesuits is “obtaining their confidence to seek even to preach from their pulpits”.
I stand as a witness to you today that boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the doctrines of Grace will get you banned from the pulpits of America.
DENYING THE FALL
On page 96 of “What Love is This?” Dave Hunt writes: “Never, however, does the Bible suggest that because of Adam’s original sin all of his descendants lack the ability to turn to God…”
Really? Let’s examine scripture:
“the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5).
“He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not” (John 1:10).
"As it is written There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, THERE IS NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD." (Romans 3:10-12)
That there are none that seek after God is biblical fact. Spurgeon said this, "As for seeking after God, and delighting himself in the Almighty, the sinner knows nothing thereof; his sin has killed him towards all desire for God, or love to him, or delight in him. He is to God dead while he liveth."
Just as Lazarus lay in the tomb as a corpse, dead to God and altogether unable to raise himself, rather he stunk and decayed and the worms ate at his cadaver - so the dead man, totally dead in sins and trespasses is unable and unwilling to come unto God. It is a requirement that for Lazarus to come forth there must be an effectual and irresistable call from God who quickens whom He wills.
The scripture says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them , because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:14) But Dave Hunt absurdly claims, “this cannot be speaking of the gospel”! Not speaking of the Gospel? It says plainly in the same verses “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” The reason that Dave Hunt gives for claiming that this verse is NOT speaking of the Gospel is because, “In scores of places the gospel is plainly offered to the whole world”, but no one has claimed that the Gospel has not been offered to the whole world! What adherents to the doctrines of God’s Grace believe is that, as Jesus clearly says, we can only HEAR (or receive) the Gospel if we are His sheep.
John said that Jesus came into the world as the light but the darkness comprehended Him not. Were you in darkness? If you comprehended Him, if you sought after Him of your own accord, if you believed on Him without the effectual call of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit - you should know that you make God a liar! But God will not be a liar, though every man be one.
You did not seek after God! But, if you are His, then He most assuredly sought after you. Only the willfully ignorant and prideful would deny that. Though you may rise up your flesh in pride, railing against God's throne - even so He will not share His glory with another.
Dave Hunt and the Pop-prophecy clan are ever ready to push evangelism as our “Last Days” mission, but what they do not want you to know, is that their Gospel is NOT the Gospel of the Bible. That is why they viciously attack the scriptures for their own purposes.
Doctrine does matter!
Arminianism degrades sin - it stubbornly holds on to the lie that we, as descendents of Adam, are not altogether depraved and lost, without hope in the world and in need of salvation, a salvation that we cannot work on ourselves, but that we must receive as naked and poor paupers at the hand of a merciful God.
Arminianism elevates man - while attempting to dethrone God. It purports that God bestows salvation on those who were "good enough" or "smart enough" to figure it out. The Arminian looks down from the high seats on sinners and says "Oh God, I'm glad I figured it out, unlike those poor fellows." But the truly repentant sinner says, "God have mercy on me, a sinner".
Our brother, the faithful Apostle Paul rebukes them thusly:
Paul claims that he was "before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief."
So you might say, "SEE, Paul received mercy because his sin was done ignorantly". Yet our ignorance certainly places no lien on the mercy of God, lest it be not mercy, but reckoned of debt. Paul will tell us WHY he received mercy, if you will patiently heed him. Let us read further:
"And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with FAITH and love which is in Christ Jesus."
Paul notes that both faith and love are elements of the gift of grace that he received mercifully from Christ Jesus. Rather than continue in his ignorance, he was forced to admit that he was wrong, and move forward having received the GIFTS of faith and love.
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."
Paul declares that he is not only a sinner, but the chief of sinners - qualifying him for the gifts of faith, love, repentance, belief and obedience to the Gospel. For surely Christ came to save sinners, not those who have "figured it out", or concocted enough human faith to "believe". Either it was the work of God in you, or it was the work of your fallen flesh. Well, which was it? NOW, Paul will tell us why he obtained mercy:
"Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."
Can it be any clearer to those stiffnecked and prideful squanderers? Paul obtained mercy by the longsuffering of Jesus Christ FOR A PATTERN to show the way that YOU received mercy! Those who believe on him to life everlasting are not credited with the BELIEF! This is the WORK OF GOD that you believe!!! (John 6:29). It is the longsuffering and mercy of God, not your flesh that is to be thanked.
The Jesuit plan to abolish the Reformation, and to enthrone that antichrist Pope in the hearts of man can only be fulfilled in those whose rebellion and aversion to all righteousness has remained unrestrained by the merciful hand of God. The great writer John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, wrote this:
“In a word, they that do continue to reject and slight the Word of God, they are such, for the most part, as are ordained to be damned… Further, who are they that are so tossed to and fro, with the several winds of doctrine that have been broached in these days, but such for the most part, as have had a light esteem of the scriptures; for the ground of error, as Christ saith, is because they know not them (Mark 12:24). And indeed, it is just with God to give them over to follow their own dark blinded consciences, to be led into errors, that they might be damned into hell, who did not believe that the things contained in the Scripture were the truth, that they might be saved and go to heaven.”