Monday, December 31, 2007

AN ODE TO FREWILL! (OR AN ODE TO ME!)


(This is a satirical poem written to expose the Arminian Lie)

Some believe in election,
Oh, no, not me,
For I know He chose me,
because my faith He did foresee.

He saw that I would choose Him,
and He saw something good in me,
Reacting to that foreseen good,
He chose me.

God cannot force a free person
To choose to come to Him.
Salvation must be by freewill
And up to the sinner's whim.

God would be unfair to pick and choose,
Whom He would save and whom He would lose,
God values us so much that He lets US choose.

I know the Lord loves me.
But His love can't set me free.
God loves the whole world,
But most of them don't see.


His blood is not the answer,
Nor His love for me.
Sure, hell is full of sinners
Who had the same chance as me.


Christ tried to save a lot more
Than those who come to Him.
But He dare not violate their will,
So many stay in sin.

If only they had seen their need, like me.
They would be free,
I guess they were not as humble,
as little old me.


While others plug their ears and eyes,
I chose to see.
God's grace did just enough,
To leave it up to me.

I chose my own destiny.

I am glad I chose aright.
So many foolish people
Are going to get a fright.


But I know God in heaven
Respects the choice I've made.
I know He wishes that others
His Son their Lord had made


Jesus died for all men
When He suffered on that tree.
But sadly many of them
Will perish eternally.


It really isn't God's fault
He tried His best, you see.
But salvation is important
So He left it up to you and me.


Yes, I am a sinner, but my will's still free
To choose or reject Him,
Who died for me.


If I did not choose Him,
and accept what He did for me,
My sins Christ could not forgive,
So, He waits for me.


In fact, it would all be useless,
Christ's work upon that tree,
If co-operation, acceptance and agreement,
didn't come from me.

Yes, the Spirit draws me,
But I can refuse to see,
If it weren't for me helping him,
He'd never have saved me.


Jesus did His very best,
when He died on Calvary,
He paid for all sins, but for all His pains,
Only some of those go free.


God doesn't mind sharing,
some of the glory with me,
He and I have an agreement,
you see?


Jesus came from heaven.
And died upon a tree,
So that His great salvation,
Would be entirely up to me.

Free will, free will coming from me,
Is what makes me a Christian,
Everyone has it, not everyone uses it,
Come on, use it, be a Christian and be free!



by Martyn McGeown



THE HERESY OF UNIVERSAL ATONEMENT


Many today believe and teach the Arminian heresy of universal atonement.

A universal atonement means that Christ must have died for Esau whom God hated (Romans 9:13); Judas, "the son of perdition" (John 17:12); and Antichrist, the "man of sin" (2 Thessalonians 2:3); as well as the whore, the false church (Revelation 17:1-2); those who commit the unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:32); and those who never hear the Word (Psalm 147:19-20) or are already in Hell.

Is this consistent with the infinite power, wisdom and holiness of God?

A universal atonement means that Christ merely makes salvation possible and thus it denies that His death actually saves.

The Bible, however, declares that Christ delivered (Hebrews 2:15), reconciled (Romans 5:10), redeemed and ransomed (Galatians 3:13), and justified His people "by his blood" (Romans 5:9).

If Jesus paid the price for everybody head for head and some perish in Hell, then His atonement does not save all—or even most of those—for whom it was made.

How can Christ be "satisfied" in His atonement (Isaiah 53:10), if millions perish for whom He shed His blood?

Then too Christ’s death is not substitutionary, for if He took the punishment of the reprobate, why are they judged?

If some for whom Christ died go to Hell, then God punishes their sins twice, once on Christ and once on them.

Is this consistent with the infinite justice and righteousness of God?

How can some whom Christ reconciled, and for whom there is no condemnation (Romans 8:34), dwell forever in Hell?

Listen to John Wesley, an advocate of universal, ineffectual atonement:
"What! Can the blood of Christ burn in hell? … I answer, ... If the oracles of God are true, one who was purchased by the blood of Christ may go thither. For he that was sanctified by the blood of Christ was purchased by the blood of Christ. But one who was sanctified by the blood of Christ may nevertheless go to hell; may fall under that fiery indignation which shall for ever devour the adversaries" (The Works of John Wesley [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996], vol. 10, p. 297).

The Scriptures teach that Christ died for "His people" (Matthew 1:21) and His "friends" (John 15:13).

He ransomed "his seed" (Isaiah 53:10) and not the seed of the serpent (Genesis 3:15); His "sons," "children" and "brethren" (Hebrews 2:10-14) and not "bastards" (Hebrews 12:8); His sheep (John 10:11) and not the goats (Matthew 25:33); His church (Ephesians 5:25) and not the "synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 3:9); and the "many" (Matthew 26:28) and not everybody head for head.

Many make the fundamental exegetical error of taking the word "world" (Greek: kosmos) to mean "everybody head for head" in John 1:29; 3:16; 1 John 2:2.

I challenge anyone to find one Biblical verse where "world" means "everybody head for head," and then prove that it has this meaning in a text teaching the extent of Christ’s atonement. Kosmos can mean the universe (Acts 17:24) or the Roman world (Colossians 1:6) or the evil world system (John 12:31) or the reprobate (John 17:9) or the elect (John 4:42; 6:33; 2 Corinthians 5:19) etc.

The context is vital in explaining the Word, Scripture interprets Scripture.

Just hours before the cross and with a view to His atoning death, Christ says, "I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me" (John 17:9).

If Jesus did not do a lesser thing (pray for the reprobate world), how could He do a greater thing (die for the reprobate world)?

If Christ did not pray for the ungodly world (one aspect of His priestly work), is it possible that He died for the ungodly world (the other aspect of His priestly work)?

Moreover, Christ prays on the basis of His work of redemption.
Therefore if Christ did not pray for the reprobate world, it is because He did not purchase salvation for them. Christ’s prayers and atonement are not only particular — "for them which thou hast given me" — but also exclusive, not "for the world."

By Angus Stewart

Friday, September 21, 2007

L.I.L.A.C

The Posionous Flower Of Free-Willism:

L - Limited Depravity

I - I Choose Christ

L - Limitless Atonement

A - Arrestible Grace

C - Carnal Security

Thursday, September 20, 2007

THE POISONOUS PETALS OF THE ARMINIAN LILAC

In God's creation the lilac, like the tulip, has a beautiful place. It is not a poisonous plant, but a splendid flower of sweet perfume and purple hue. Its color symbolizes royalty and dominion. As such, the lilac would be a fit emblem of the faith and its key doctrine — the absolute sovereignty of God. But the lilac may be viewed as the emblem of the Arminian heresy, and then it takes on quite a different character. It becomes an ugly, stinking flower. Its color is the pale gray of disease and death. Its petals are poisonous.

The acronym LILAC was invented to summarize the five points of the Arminians, because the tulip flower has been the symbol of the five points of Calvinism. The two "flowers" look like this:

T - Total Depravity
U - Unconditional Election
L - Limited Atonement
I - Irresistible Grace
P - Perseverance of Saints

L - Limited Depravity
I - I Choose Christ
L - Limitless Atonement
A - Arrestible Grace
C - Carnal Security

In this article we want to examine briefly these poisonous petals of the Arminian LILAC. The reader will understand that we cannot launch into a detailed critique of the Arminian heresy in this one article. For that we refer you to the Canons of Dordt themselves, particularly the second part of each head of doctrine, where the Arminian errors are explicitly mentioned and refuted. We can only point out the main errors. Nevertheless, with the sweet smell of TULIP in our souls we will come to know the stench of the Arminian LILAC.

It was the Arminian party in he Dutch Reformed churches who first summarized their teachings into five points of doctrine. This they did following the death of James Arminius, the man who initially advanced the erroneous doctrines and after whom the Arminian party was named. Arminius had been teaching the errors associated with his name for many years following his ordination into the ministry in 1588. Especially in his preaching on the book of Romans he parted with the biblical teaching concerning the state of the natural man and concerning the way in which the sinner is saved. But it was after Arminius' death in 1609 that his followers put his views together in summary form. In 1610 they set forth in five articles their Remonstrance (petition) as a defense of their position (which is why the Canons of Dordt consist of five heads of doctrine). The first of these points expressed the Arminian view of predestination:

That God, by an eternal, unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son, before the foundation of the world, has determined, out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ's sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, shall believe on this his Son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ, according to the word of the gospel in John 3:36: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him," and according to other passages of Scripture also.

At first glance it may seem as if the Arminians were stating an orthodox doctrine of predestination. The language appears sound and straight. But in reality their view of divine election and reprobation is that they are conditional decrees. Notice that the article says that God chooses those who will believe and passes over those who will not believe. That is,God's choice of some persons to be saved is based on (conditioned by) their faith and their perseverance in faith; and His rejection of others for damnation is based on (conditioned by) their unbelief and disobedience. For the Arminians, God's decree of predestination is not sovereign and unconditional; it is not freely made without any regard to man's acts in time. Rather is it conditioned by what man does. In eternity God looks ahead and sees who will believe and who will not believe and predestinates accordingly. It was right here in their opening statement that the Arminians revealed the heart of their heresy:

God is not sovereign in salvation; man is! God's will does not rule in the redemption of mankind; man's does! God's grace does not account for salvation; man's faith does! The poisonous, putrid petal of the Arminian LILAC is: "I choose God (Christ), and therefore He chooses me!"

How pervasive that poison is in the churches today! O, that the smell of the beautiful, biblical TULIP would prevail as it did in the time of Dordt: "God chose me to believe, sovereignly, unconditionally, entirely of grace!"

This, however, was just the beginning of the Arminian poison. In their second point the Arminianscontinued their vile errors:

That, agreeably thereunto, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, died for all men and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins except the believer, according to the word of the gospel of John 3:16, "God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." And in the First Epistle of John 2:2, "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

In this statement the Arminians boldly set forth universal atonement: Christ has died for all men, head for head. His death on the cross covered the sins of all people that ever live. His sacrifice obtained forgiveness and freedom for each and every person in all of time and history. Christ's death, then, is not just for the elect of God; it is not limited to that select people determined by God. It is for all men without exception.

Yet at the same time the Arminians had to reckon with the fact that all men do not enjoy this salvation in the death of Christ. Some men perish in their unbelief and never receive the benefits Christ obtained for them. Which means that Christ has died in vain for some; His death is not sufficient to secure some people's salvation. What is this but a denial of the efficacy and all-sufficiency of Christ's atonement?! The poisonous petal of the Arminian LILAC this time was that Christ's limitless atonement fails!

This is not the sweet fragrance of the gospel, as they claimed; this is the stench of the lie! Besides, in this article the Arminians again grounded salvation in the faith of the sinner, not the sovereign work of God in Christ at the cross. At best Christ's death only makes salvation possible for the sinner. The determining factor in salvation is not what Christ did in dying but what the sinner does in believing. Christ has died in vain unless the sinner believes! Also this poisonous petal stands prominent in the churches of our day. O, that the sweet savor of the biblical TULIP might prevail today as it did at Dordt: "Christ died only for those elect given Him by the Father, sufficiently, efficaciously, with everlasting security of their salvation!"

In their third point the Arminians returned to their devilish deceptions and subtle subterfuges. They hid the truth of their position behind solid language:

That man has not saving faith of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, in as much as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do anything that is truly good (such as saving faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, "Without me ye can do nothing."

It appears from this statement that the Arminians were upholding the biblical doctrine of total depravity, that man is thoroughly corrupt in himself and incapable of doing any good apart from the grace of God. It appears that they were defending sovereign grace in the salvation of the sinner, such that only God by His regenerating Spirit causes man to repent and believe. It even seems that they condemn free will.

But this was a grievous deception. In reality, the Arminians taught just the opposite. When you read the "Rejection of Errors" section in the Canons of Dordt, III & IV Heads, you discover their true position on the nature of man's depravity and on the nature of God's saving grace. From this we learn that the Arminians taught that man is only partially depraved and that he has retained his power of free will after the Fall. Therefore the unregenerate sinner is not totally dependent on the grace and Spirit of God for salvation. He is able to prepare himself for salvation and cooperate with God in salvation. According to the Arminians, fallen man can hunger and thirst after righteousness and life by himself, he can offer the sacrifice of a contrite and broken spirit apart from the Spirit. He can use his natural powers to meet God "halfway" on the road of salvation. God gives the sinner a "common grace" to show him Christ and encourage him to conversion, but it is up to him to exercise his free will and decide whether or not he will be saved. In the Arminian scheme, faith is not God's sovereign gift worked in man's heart by the power of the regenerating Spirit but man's act which actually precedes regenertion.

So again, the Arminians denied the sovereignty of God's saving grace, this time by promoting the poisonous petal of "limited depravity." The men of Dordt saw this for what it was, nothing but a resurrection of the old Pelagian heresy which denied man's total depravity and advanced man's power of free will. O, that once more this poisonous perfume of the Arminian LILAC might be snuffed out in the churches and the precious scent of the biblical TULIP be powerfully smelled and savored!

The fourth article of the Arminians must also be viewed in the light of what we have just seen:

That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to this extent, that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can neither think, will nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements, that can be conceived, must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But as respects the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, in as much as it is written concerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Spirit. Acts 7, and elsewhere in many places.

Again, it seems as if the Arminians are defending sovereign grace, at least in the first part of the article. God's grace, they appear to say, accounts for all the good that man does.

But notice the words that are used to describe God's grace as it comes to the sinner. The article calls it "assisting" grace and "cooperative" grace, implying that God simply needs to help man along in the attainment of salvation and that man works along with God to achieve this. This exposes the Arminians in their real position—that of Pelagianism! In addition, the Arminians plainly stated their rejection of sovereign, irresistible grace. The grace of God as it comes to the sinner is able to be resisted by the sinner. God tries to save the sinner when He comes to him in the gospel. The Spirit approaches man with the grace of salvation, but man can turn Him away with his sovereign will! The Spirit comes with regenerating grace but cannot give it until man first believes by an act of his free will! And if a man does not want to believe, the Spirit is stopped in His tracks! Such is the stinking flower of the Arminians: arrestible grace!

How powerful is this poisonous petal in the churches! O, that the precious odor of the biblical TULIP might waft through the churches as it did at Dordt: "God's sovereign grace is irresistible and conquers the wicked heart and will of the elect sinner, so that he is infallibly brought to faith and conversion by the Spirit alone!"

In their last article the Arminians expressed their belief concerning the perseverance of the saints:

That those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith, and ave thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, have thereby full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well understood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, and desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling so that they, by no craft or power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ's hands, according to the Word of Christ, John 10:28, "Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginnings of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of becoming devoid of grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scripture, before we ourselves can teach it with the full persuasion of our minds.

It should be evident that once more the Arminians revealed their true colors, this time by rejecting the absolute perseverance of believers. They are willing to say that God makes it possible for the saved to persevere. He gives them sufficient grace; He assists them in the battle of faith so that they can possibly overcome and reach the goal of eternal salvation. But notice two things concerning the Arminian position as set forth in this article.

First, they make this perseverance dependent on the activity of the believer. Christ extends His hand to help the believer and will keep him, but only if he wants the help, makes himself ready for the battle, and works hard on his own. Once more, the position of human sovereignty in salvation is proclaimed! God cannot make the believer persevere unless the believer wills and works first! And second, the Arminians state in so many words that they do not believe the total preservation of believers and therefore the absolute security of the saved. In other words, they posit that a believer can lose his salvation. He can be saved today and perish tomorrow. He can be saved all his life but in the very end go lost and join the wicked in hell.

This last petal in the Arminian LILAC is another poisonous one: carnal security. It leaves the believer with no real assurance of being saved to the end. It leaves him trusting in his own self for final deliverance. That's carnal security.

Of course, this follows from all that the Arminians teach. If at every point salvation is dependent on the will of man, then salvation is ever on shaky ground; it can never be safe and secure. Salvation can only be so if it is dependent on God's will and God's work from start to finish and at every point in between. Such is the pure flower of biblical Tulip: God keeps His own unto the end so that none are lost. He gives them grace to persevere so that they all arrive in glory. This is the sweet perfume of the biblical TULIP. The petals of the Arminian LILAC emit a deadly poison.

Which flower are you savoring?

By Charles J. Terpstra

ARMINIAN ELECTION

"I believe in Bible election. God votes for you, the devil votes against you, and you cast the deciding vote." The evangelist (?) cackled like he had laid an egg after "refuting" the biblical doctrine of election with the above illustration. Since this is the Arminian's favorite story, several things should be pointed out.

First, this illustration denies that God is even close to Almighty. He desperately wants to accomplish His purpose but is unable to do so.

Second the reason that God is unable to do what His heart desires is that another being, of equal ability and power, can checkmate Him. This terrible illustration gives the devil equal power with God.

Third, to add insult to injury, the mighty will of man comes in to break the deadlock between God and the devil.

How God-dishonoring can false doctrine become?

The free-willer may be "unwilling" to admit it, but his theology makes man supreme, the devil second, and God is third at worst, and tied for second, at best. I wonder if these people ever read;

"But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth."
(Job 23:13)

"Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."
(Romans 9:18)

THE "god" OF ARMINIANISM


I dare say, that, in such an auditory as this, a number of Arminians are present. I fear, that all our public assemblies have too many of them. Perhaps, however, even these people, idolaters as they are, may be apt to blame, and, indeed, with justice, the absurdity of those who worship idols of silver and gold, the work of men's hands. But let me ask: If it be so very absurd, to worship the work of other men's hands what must it be, to worship the works of our own hands? Perhaps, you may say, "God forbid that I should do so. Nevertheless, let me tell you, that trust, confidence, reliance, and dependence, for salvation, are all acts and very solemn ones too, of divine worship: and upon whatsoever you depend, whether in whole or in part, for your acceptance with God, and for your justification in his sight, whatsoever, you rely upon, and trust in, for the attainment of grace or glory; if it be any thing short of God in Christ, you are an idolater for all intents and purposes.


Very different is the idea which Scripture gives us, of the ever-blessed God, from that of those false gods worshipped by the heathens; and from that degrading representation of the true God, which Arminianism would palm upon mankind. Our God (says this Psalm, verse the third) is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he pleased. This is not the Arminian idea of God: for our free- willers and our chance-mongers tell us, that God does not do whatsoever he pleases; that there are a great number of things, which God wishes to do, and rags and strives to do, and yet cannot bring to pass ... Is their god the Bible-God? Certainly not. Their god "submits" to difficulties which he "cannot help" himself out of, and endearours to make himself "easy" under millions and millions of inextricable embarrassments, uncomfortable disappointments, and mortifying defeats. ...This said scheme ascends, on the ladder of blasphemy, to the mountain top of atheism; and then hurls itself from that precipice, into the gulph of blind, adamantine necessity, in order to prove mankind free agents!


... One great contest, between the religion of Arminianism, and the religion of Christ, is, who shall stand entitled to the paise and glory of a sinner's salvation? Conversion decides this point at once; for I think that, without any imputation of uncharitableness, I may venture to say, that every truly awakened person, at least when he is under the shine of God's countenance upon his soul, will fall down upon his knees, with this hymn of praise ascending from his heart, Not unto me, O Lord, not unto me, but to thy name, give the glory: I am saved not for my righteousness, but for thy mercy and thy truth's sake.


by Augustus Toplady

Sunday, September 09, 2007

FREE-WILLISM PREACHES "ANOTHER JESUS"

2 Corinthians 11:4
He who... preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached

The Jesus of Free-Willism, unlike the Jesus of gospel preachers, does not possess the love of God. Preachers of Free-Willism aver God loves everyone in exactly the same way. They therefore indiscriminately tell their hearers what no gospel preacher in Scriptures ever said: "Smile, God loves you." And they preach what no gospel preacher in Scriptures every preached: "God loves you so much He chose you for salvation, but the devil hates you so much he chose you for damnation, and you must of your own free will cast the deciding vote. And Jesus Christ loves everyone so much he died for all their sins."

The God of Free-Willism is therefore not the God of Holy Scriptures and gospel preachers. The true God does not love everyone in the same way. Rather, He hates those who go to the grave in rebellion against Him. "For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand in your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man" (Psalm 5:4-6).

And the true God has a special love for His own people. These are they whom He of His free and sovereign grace, apart from any merit of any kind in them, chose and predestined for salvation before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). They are called the Israel of God in the New Testament. God says of them, "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you" (Jeremiah 31:3).

Preachers of Free-Willism aver their Jesus loves and died for everyone. But gospel preachers declare of the true Jesus, "Christ loved the church and gave himself for it!" He did not waste a single drop of His redeeming blood for those who will never submit to Him.

By Daniel Parks

Thursday, June 28, 2007

THE MOST BELIEVED LIE

There are many lies being told about our Lord that are, to the damnation of men's soul, believed by most.
There is, however, one big lie that is more unanimously believed then all the others.

It is a universally accepted fact that man has a free will. Men pride themselves in believing that they are able to override the power of God with this all powerful "free will". This lie claims that in the final analysis man decides the destiny of his own soul, and that God has made himself subject to this irresistible force.

If by "free will" man believes that he is free, when given two or more options,
to choose the one he wants, that is without dispute. As a matter of fact, that
is always the case. We could even go so far as to say that it is impossible to
select an option that is not your preference. When given an opportunity to
select from among two or more possibilities we always choose the one for which
we have the greatest inclination or desire. ALWAYS! Man's will is not free.
It is subject to, yes in bondage to, his natural inclinations.

Therein lies the problem. It is not in man's fallen, sinful nature to desire salvation God's way.


John 5:40
"And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life."

In choosing what he wants he always chooses against the light.

John 3:19
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

It is impossible for man to force his choice against his own will. He is in desperate need of a new nature; one that is born from above. One that has as its only inclination a desire for coming to the Christ of scripture.

John 3:7
"...Ye must be born again".

Some will attempt to honor God by agreeing that He must give us a new heart, only to dethrone Him by saying that you must be willing to let Him.

John 6:44
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him".

You say, but doesn't the Bible say 'whosoever will'...? Yes. But the problem
is not with the whosoever, it is with the will.


Greg Elmquist

Sunday, June 03, 2007

THE PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN: WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

Luke 18:11-13
"The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I THANK THEE, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I FAST twice in the week, I GIVE tithes of all that I possess.’ And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful unto me a sinner’. I tell you THIS man went down to His house justified rather than the other: for everyone that EXALTETH HIMSELF shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted"

Notice here that the Pharisee thanked God that he was not like other men. He then proceeded to boast, just as the free willer boasts in his ‘decision for Christ’, of what he did, obviously believing, in light of his attitude towards the publican, that his acts of obedience in some way contributed to his gaining God’s favor, even though he believed he was attributing all the good he did, not to himself, but to God. The publican, however, did not mention even one ‘good’ deed that he had done. He brought none of his righteousnesses with him, which is the case with every truly saved person (see Philippians 3:9), but humbly asked for God’s mercy, providing evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work upon him. He was not seeking or expecting to be justified by any of his own works, whether he attributed them to God or not. The publican, along with every truly saved man, shares the same mindset as the apostle Paul: "...God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ..." (Galatians 6:14).

The publican did not expect his works to make the difference between heaven and hell, nor did he look to anything he did, but only to God and His Mercy. To humble oneself is not a condition a man must meet in order to come to God, but is an evidence of God coming to the man. It is not man’s free choice for God that makes the difference between heaven and hell but God’s free will choice of man. Christ said this man, the Publican, rather than the Pharisee, was justified. The word justified in this passage means ‘to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent, free, be righteous’.

Notice also that Christ referred to the Pharisee, who attributed his good deeds to God, as one who did not merely have things wrong and just needed a little correcting, but as one who exalted himself. If a man does not believe the Gospel wherein is revealed the righteousness of Christ, he shows by his ignorance that he seeks to establish a righteousness of his own (see Romans 10). So too, the man who believes that anything he has done is that which makes the difference between saved and lost, even though he praises God for it, exalts himself and not God, and remains in an unjustified state. God never overlooks the error that leavens the whole lump (see Galatians 5:9).

The truly saved man does not say, ‘Come and see what God has enabled me to do for my soul’, but "...I will declare what HE HAS DONE for my soul" (Psalm 66:16). Be not deceived. Those who adhere to the doctrine of free will, that a man must make a free-will decision for Christ before he can be saved, condition salvation, not on God’s election of grace and Christ’s atonement for sin, but on a work or act of man. Man must make his decision for Christ before salvation can be given to him, rather than man’s receiving Christ being something that is the result or fruit of salvation by grace being granted a man by God’s love-motivated election of him.

The free willer who insists he does not take any of the glory for salvation away from Christ because he attributes his positive decision for Christ to God’s enabling power, has been taught a lie. He is exalting himself, and not God, according to the Scriptures. Notice also in our passage just how many times the Pharisee used the word ‘I’. He said it 5 times whereas the publican made no mention of himself, other than for God to be merciful to him. Notice how there is no cause to believe the publican was in any way boasting by his request, but plenty of reason to believe that the Pharisee was boasting. The free willer is in the same boat as the Pharisee.

He exalts not God but himself, for he is constantly drawing attention to what he has done rather than only seeking to draw the listener’s attention to God and what He does. ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, is all they say:
‘I chose Him, I love Him, I accepted Him, I sought Him, I found Him, I came to Him, I, I, I....’

The true believer says
‘God has elected me, He chose me, He has visited me with His glorious grace, His Son died for me and His righteousness was imputed to me, He took away my sins, He was merciful to me, He gave me the gift of faith, He caused me to repent and approach Him, He, He, He...’

I am sure the reader can see the difference between the two. One exalts himself while the other humbles himself and is justified. The free willer’s gospel teaches a salvation by works, for it allows room for a man to boast in his salvation even though, to his mind, he denies this by attributing his obedience, in the form of his free will decision for Christ, to God. Such people are LOST.

In this we see that boasting is not excluded by a gospel which teaches that salvation is conditioned on a man’s works, or hinges on a man’s free will decision, but it is only ever excluded by THE Gospel Message which teaches that salvation is by grace through faith in the Person and Works of Christ Jesus the Lord, attributing all of salvation to Him and conditioning no part of it on man. Grace does not enable a man to believe, but provides, as a gift, the only faith which can and does believe the Gospel.

Only THIS Gospel leaves no room for a man to boast; only THIS Gospel saves. Faith in this Gospel alone humbles the believer, excluding all boasting, for it conditions all of salvation on Christ (see Romans 3:24-28).

Moreno Dal Bello

Saturday, June 02, 2007

THE GOSPEL VS ARMINIANISM


The Five Points of Arminianism Vs The Five Points of Grace

Arminian Point 1:
Free-Will or Human Ability

Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does not interfere with man's freedom. Each sinner posses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. Man's freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature. The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God's Spirit and be regenerated or resist God's grace and perish. The lost sinner needs the Spirit's assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man's act and precedes the new birth. Faith is the sinner's gift to God; it is man's contribution to salvation.


True Gospel Point 1:
Total Inability or Total Depravity

Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not - indeed he cannot - choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ - it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation - it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.

Arminian Point 2:

Conditional Election

God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call. He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the gospel. Election therefore was determined by or conditioned upon what man would do. The faith which God foresaw and upon which He based His choice was not given to the sinner by God (it was not created by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit) but resulted solely from man's will. It was left entirely up to man as to who would believe and therefore as to who would be elected unto salvation. God chose those whom He knew would, of their own free will, choose Christ. Thus the sinner's choice of Christ, not God's choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

True Gospel Point 2:
Unconditional Election

God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response of obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

Arminian Point 3:

Universal Redemption or General Atonement

Christ's redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone. Although Christ died for all men and for every man, only those who believe on Him are saved. His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condition that they believe, but it did not actually put away anyone's sins. Christ's redemption becomes effective only if man chooses to accept it.

True Gospel Point 3:
Particular Redemption or Limited Atonement

Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them. His death was substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ's redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, therefore guaranteeing their salvation.


Arminian Point 4:
The Holy Spirit Can Be Effectually Resisted


The Spirit calls inwardly all those who are called outwardly by the gospel invitation; He does all that He can to bring every sinner to salvation. But inasmuch as man is free, he can successfully resist the Spirit's call. The Spirit cannot regenerate the sinner until he believes; faith (which is man's contribution) proceeds and makes possible the new birth. Thus, man's free will limits the Spirit in the application of Christ's saving work. The Holy Spirit can only draw to Christ those who allow Him to have His way with them. Until the sinner responds, the Spirit cannot give life. God's grace, therefore, is not invincible; it can be, and often is, resisted and thwarted by man.

True Gospel Point 4:
Efficacious (or Irresistible) Grace

In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

Arminian Point 5:

Falling from Grace

Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith, etc. All Arminians have not been agreed on this point; some have held that believers are eternally secure in Christ - that once a sinner is regenerated, he can never be lost.


True Gospel Point 5:
Perseverance of the Saints

All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.

According to Arminianism:


Salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God (who takes the initiative) and man (who must respond) - man's response being the determining factor. God has provided salvation for everyone, but His provision becomes effective only for those who, of their own free will, "choose" to cooperate with Him and accept His offer of grace. At the crucial point, man's will plays a decisive role; thus man, not God, determines who will be recipients of the gift of salvation.

According to the Gospel:

Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.



Thursday, March 15, 2007

1 John 2:2

A study of 1 John 2:2

THERE is one passage more than any other which is I appealed to by those who believe in universal redemption, and which at first sight appears to teach that Christ died for the whole human race. We have therefore decided to give it a detailed examination and exposition.

1 John 2:2

"And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world".

This is the passage which, apparently, most favors the Arminian view of the Atonement, yet if it be considered attentively it will be seen that it does so only in appearance, and not in reality. Below we offer a number of conclusive proofs to show that this verse does not teach that Christ has propitiated God on behalf of all the sins of all men.

In the first place, the fact that this verse opens with "and" necessarily links it with what has gone before. We, therefore, give a literal word for word translation of I John 2 :1 from Bagster's Interlinear: "Little children my, these things I write to you, that ye may not sin; and if any one should sin, a Paraclete we have with the Father, Jesus Christ (the) righteous". It will thus be seen that the apostle John is here writing to and about the saints of God. His immediate purpose was two-fold: first, to communicate a message that would keep God's children from sinning; second, to supply comfort and assurance to those who might sin, and, in consequence, be cast down and fearful that the issue would prove fatal. He, therefore, makes known to them the provision which God has made for just such an emergency. This we find at the end of verse 1 and throughout verse 2. The ground of comfort is twofold: let the downcast and repentant believer (I John 1:9) be assured that, first, he has an "Advocate with the Father"; second, that this Advocate is "the propitiation for our sins" Now believers only may take comfort from this, for they alone have an "Advocate", for them alone is Christ the propitiation, as is proven by linking the Propitiation ("and") with "the Advocate"!

In the second place, if other passages in the New Testament which speak of "propitiation," he compared with I John 2:2, it will be found that it is strictly limited in its scope. For example, in Romans 3 :25 we read that God set forth Christ "a propitiation through faith in His blood". If Christ is a propitiation "through faith", then He is not a "propitiation" to those who have no faith! Again, in:


Hebrews 2:17 we read:
"To make propitiation for the sins of the people"

In the third place, who are meant when John says, "He is the propitiation for our sins"?


We answer, Jewish believers. And a part of the proof on which we base this assertion we now submit to the careful attention of the reader.

In Galatians 2:9 we are told that John, together with James and Cephas, were apostles "unto the circumcision" (i.e. Israel). In keeping with this, the Epistle of James is addressed to:


James 1:1
"the twelve tribes, which are scattered abroad".

So, the first Epistle of Peter is addressed to:

1 Peter 1:1 - Rv
"the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion"

(And John also is writing to saved Israelites, but for saved Jews and saved Gentiles.

Some of the evidences that John is writing to saved Jews are as follows.


(a) In the opening verse he says of Christ, "Which we have seen with our eyes . . . . and our hands have handled". How impossible it would have been for the Apostle Paul to have commenced any of his epistles to Gentile saints with such language!

(b)
1 John 2:7

"Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning".
The "beginning" here referred to is the beginning of the public manifestation of Christ-in proof compare 1:1 ; 2:13, etc. Now these believers the apostle tells us, had the "old commandment" from the beginning. This was true of Jewish believers, but it was not true of Gentile believers.

(c)
1 John 2:13

"I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him from the beginning".
Here, again, it is evident that it is Jewish believers that are in view.

(d)
1 John 2 :18, 19

"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us" .

These brethren to whom John wrote had "heard" from Christ Himself that Antichrist should come (see Matthew 24). The "many antichrists" whom John declares "went out from us" were all Jews, for during the first century none but a Jew posed as the Messiah. Therefore, when John says "He is the propitiation for our sins" he can only mean for the sins of Jewish believers.*

In the fourth place, when John added, "And not for ours only, but also for the whole world", he signified that Christ was the propitiation for the sins of Gentile believers too, for, as previously shown, "the world" is a term contrasted from Israel. This interpretation is unequivocally established by a careful comparison of 1 John 2:2 with John 11:51, 52, which is a strictly parallel passage:


John 11:51-52
"And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad".

Here Caiaphas, under inspiration, made known for whom Jesus should "die". Notice now the correspondency of his prophecy with this declaration of John's:

1 John 2

"He is the propitiation for our (believing Israelites) sins".

John 11

"He prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation".

1 John 2

"And not for ours only".

John 11
"And not for that nation only".

1 John 2

"But also for the whole world" - That is, Gentile believers scattered throughout the earth.

John 11

"He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad".

In the fifth place, the above interpretation is confirmed by the fact that no other is consistent or intelligible. If the "whole world" signifies the whole human race, then the first clause and the "also" in the second clause are absolutely meaningless. If Christ is the propitiation for every-body, it would be idle tautology to say, first, "He is the propitiation for our sins and also for everybody". There could be no "also" if He is the propitiation for the entire human family. Had the apostle meant to affirm that Christ is a universal propitiation he had omitted the first clause of verse 2, and simply said, "He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world." Confirmatory of "not for ours (Jewish believers) only, but also for the whole world" - Gentile believers, too;

compare John 10 :16 and 17:20.

In the sixth place, our definition of "the whole world" is in perfect accord with other passages in the New Testament. For example:


Colossians 1 :5,6
"Whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world".

Does "all the world" here mean, absolutely and unqualifiedly, all mankind?

Had all the human family heard the Gospel?

No; the apostle's obvious meaning is that, the Gospel, instead of being confined to the land of Judea, had gone abroad, without restraint, into Gentile lands. So in:

Romans 1 :8
"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world".

The apostle is here referring to the faith of these Roman saints being spoken of in a way of commendation. But certainly all mankind did not so speak of their faith! It was the whole world of believers that he was referring to!

In Revelation 12 :9 we read of Satan "which deceiveth the whole world". But again this expression cannot be understood as a universal one, for Matthew 24 :24 tells us that Satan does not and cannot "deceive" God's elect. Here it is "the whole world" of unbelievers.

In the seventh place, to insist that "the whole world" in I John 2:2 signifies the entire human race is to undermine the very foundations of our faith.


If Christ is the propitiation for those that are lost equally as much as for those that are saved, then what assurance have we that believers too may not be lost?

If Christ is the propitiation for those now in hell, what guarantee have I that I may not end in hell?

The blood-shedding of the incarnate Son of God is the only thing which can keep any one out of hell, and if many for whom that precious blood made propitiation are now in the awful place of the damned, then may not that blood prove inefficacious for me! Away with such a God-dishonoring thought.

However men may quibble and wrest the Scriptures, one thing is certain: The Atonement is no failure. God will not allow that precious and costly sacrifice to fail in accomplishing, completely, that which it was designed to effect. Not a drop of that holy blood was shed in vain. In the last great Day there shall stand forth no disappointed and defeated Saviour, but One who:


Isaiah 53:11
"shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied"

These are not our words, but the infallible assertion of Him who declares:

Isaiah 64:10
"My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure".

Upon this impregnable rock we take our stand. Let others rest on the sands of human speculation and twentieth-century theorizing if they wish. That is their business. But to God they will yet have to render an account. For our part we had rather be railed at as a narrow-minded, out-of-date, hyper-Calvinist, than be found repudiating God's truth by reducing the Divinely-efficacious atonement to a mere fiction.

By A.W. Pink

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

WHICH JESUS?


WHICH JESUS?

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."

2 Corinthians 11:3-4

The apostle Paul spoke of those who would come preaching another jesus; of those who would receive another spirit and accept another gospel. The question we pose to you, the reader, is:
‘Which spirit have you received, which gospel do you believe and WHICH JESUS HAVE YOU ACCEPTED?’

THE ‘JESUS’ OF ARMINIANISM:

The ‘jesus’ of Arminianism is the most popular and adored of all the counterfeit christ’s. This jesus is another false messiah who died, not for God’s chosen people, but for every individual ever born. His death was not to secure the salvation of anyone but was to make salvation potential for everyone, dependant upon their free will choice of Him. This jesus is not the effectual Savior of His people but the potential Savior of every person, thus making man’s free-will decision for God that which will ultimately decide his eternal destiny. It is not Christ and His Work that makes the difference between saved and lost but a free-will act of man. The jesus of Arminianism achieved nothing on the cross for any for whom he died unless they accept what he has done, thereby making it a valid and effectual act. The jesus of Arminianism is a false jesus and no Savior at all.

THE TRUE JESUS:

There is only one True Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible: the One Whom God gives testimony to. The One Who died, was buried and rose again "according to the Scriptures" (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). There is only one Savior whom God recognizes as His Son and only His Son saves: the Jesus Who is not only the Son of God but IS God Himself. The true Jesus IS the Second Person of the Trinity (1 John 5:6,7), unlike the Mormon jesus. The resurrected body of the true Jesus was made up of ‘flesh and bones’ (Luke 24:39) and the true Jesus is not already secretly on earth for His coming will be seen by all (Acts 1:9-11 cf. Luke 17), unlike the JW’s jesus. The true Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and does not appear at the beck and call of Roman Catholic priests upon their altars as bread and wine. Nowhere in Scripture can it be demonstrated that the sufferings of the true Jesus continued in hell for the redemption of man, as they did for the false jesus of the Faith Movement. The true Jesus died on the cross at Calvary and His shed blood, that is his physical death, DID atone for all the sins of everyone for whom He died. His sacrifice was a once and for all substitutionary sacrifice that requires no repetition and no supplementary act on the part of man in order for it to become effective. His physical death IS sufficient to cover every sin—past, present and future—of all those whom God gave to Him.

The jesuses promoted in the false gospels of religion failed to fully atone for sin by their ‘death’ on the cross. The true Jesus’ atonement for His people was fully efficacious for the redemption of everyone for whom He poured out His blood:

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross"
Colossians 2:14

"...but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself"
Hebrews 9:26

"...we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all"
Hebrews 10:10

"For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified"
Hebrews 10:14

"...unto Him (Jesus) who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood"
Revelation 1:5

All these Scriptures testify to the fact of the all-sufficiency and all-efficiency of Jesus’ once and for all sacrifice for His sheep on the cross. As the different gospels preached by these false religions are no Gospel at all, so too, their different jesuses are no Jesus at all and, therefore, no Saviour at all! It is of crucial importance that we believe in the right Jesus. In fact it is a matter of life and death. The jesus you have is identified by the doctrine you believe in. There are billions of people on this earth but only one you and one me. So too, there is only ONE God and ONE Lord Jesus Christ. There is only ONE Savior and if one does not abide in His doctrine, if one does not believe in the only Gospel which reveals the Righteousness of Christ, without which no one can be saved, then one is without God and without hope:

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God..."
2 John 9

"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth...For therein is the Righteousness of God revealed..."
Romans 1:16,17

Imagine a room full of different jesuses. Above their heads are written: ‘The jesus of the Mormons’; ‘The jesus of the Faith Movement’; ‘The jesus of Roman Catholicism’; ‘The jesus of Arminianism’ etc. The characteristics, the attributes, the history and the redemptive work of the jesus you follow must be in accord with the Jesus of the Bible or you have accepted the wrong jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Why error is so deadly in this matter of who the Savior is and what He has done, is that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

If one does not hold to the truth about Jesus, how can one be said to have the True Jesus at all?

The doctrine which distinguishes and identifies the jesus you believe in must be in accord with the Scriptures or you have been taught, and do follow, one of the many counterfeit saviors. The true Jesus is the One whose physical death upon the cross, alone fully atoned for the sins of everyone for whom He died. Only this Jesus is the real Savior; only this Jesus provides salvation for His people, the ones whom God chose before the foundation of the world and gave to His Son (Ephesians 1:4 & John 17:2,3). Accept any other jesus, however much he might resemble the true Jesus, however sincerely you believe him to be the true Jesus, and you have embraced a satanic counterfeit who will lead you to an eternal hell.


By Moreno Dal Bello

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

WHICH GOD ARE WE SERVING?

Today I want to talk to you about: "Which God are we serving?"

Do we bow down to the One and Only Almighty God who is described by the Bible alone, or do we serve another god whom our Church says we should be worshipping?

Of course, you all know the answer to that question.

We must worship the God of the Bible, because the men in the Church may be badly mistaken.

If we would not worship the God who is described by the Bible alone, we will be condemned to Hell for worshipping idols.

Therefore, if we find that we do not like a certain passage in the Bible, or we have an aversion against some verses of the Bible, then in fact we are bearing a grudge against God for placing words in the Bible that are really unacceptable to us.

Watch out!


That may be a sign of an unsaved heart.

That is why I want to lead you to this chapter 13 in Revelation.

In this chapter God shows us an awful beast, who is doing awful things to the people of the world, and God lets him do it. Let's look at:

The Beast (Revelation 13:1-9)

Revelation 13:1

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Revelation 13:2

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Revelation 13:3

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Revelation 13:4

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Revelation 13:5

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Revelation 13:6

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Revelation 13:7

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Revelation 13:8

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 13:9

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Are we really going to see such a strange beast rise up out of the sea?


Of course not.

We do not expect literally to see such a strange beast with seven heads and ten horns rise up one day. God is giving us here a word picture.

And the picture of this beast is a picture of Satan.

But here we read a very uncomfortable message, and remember, it is a message from God:

It Was Given Him to Make War With the Saints (Revelation 13:7-8, John 10:28)

Rev 13:7

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power (lit: authority) was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Revelation 13:8

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (shall worship Satan), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

This is an awful message!

God is not just allowing Satan to make war with the saints, but it was given to him.

The Greek word that is used here indicates that it was really given to him, like given to him on a silver platter.

This verse 7 says: God is giving to Satan the gift that he may make war with the saints, and he will overcome them. What a horrible event!

But what is this?


Does God give the saints into Satan's hand?

Can the saints lose their salvation?


Of course, the saints cannot lose their salvation.

God did not lie when He said in John 10:28,

John 10:28

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

What then does God mean when He said:

"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them".

How is Satan going to overcome them?

Will Satan bring on worldwide persecution and bloodletting so that the Church will be destroyed?


No!

That is not how Satan is able to destroy the Church.

He tried this many times in the past.

He tried it again in the 20th Century in Communist countries. But it has never worked.

The result of persecution has always been that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church.

How then will it be given to Satan to make war with the saints and to overcome them?

Well, the Bible gives many examples of how the people of God go down to defeat.

The scenario was always the same:

Whenever they were unequally yoked together, that is when the people of God go down to defeat. This also brought on the Flood of Noah's days.

Here is one of the aspects of God that we do not hear very much about.

God is angry about sin in the Church. God is preparing the Church for Judgment Day, by giving Satan to devastate the Church.

Why don't pastors preach about it?

This is not the only place in the Bible where this is mentioned.

We should feel no inhibitions to talk about this.

In Revelation 13 God is speaking about the last days before the end comes. God tells us here that God is using Satan, not to persecute the Church, but to join the Church.

And the majority of Churches in the world will fall, because God has it so decreed:

And he will Overcome Them (Revelation 13:7-8, Revelation 17:8, John 10:15, John 10:26-27)

God is sovereign. God can do with His creation whatever He likes to do.

Who are we to stand up against God and say: You cannot do this!

God simply carries out His plan, but God warns us ahead of time:

Rev 13:7

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power (lit: authority) was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Revelation 13:8

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (shall worship Satan), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Here we see the Grace of God shining through.

Even though the majority of mankind shall be deceived into worshipping Satan, by the Grace of God there will be a minority who will not be deceived.

God has a "Book of Life of the Lamb". All those on earth whose names are not written in this Book of Life of the Lamb, are given to worship Satan.

But those on earth whose names are found written in this Book of Life of the Lamb, are under the special care of God; they will not be deceived.


But look carefully: This is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world".

Does this mean that this Book of Life of the Lamb also dates from the foundation of the world?


Indeed it does. We read in Revelation 17:8,

Rev 17:8

And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

God is sovereign!

The Bible says here that before the foundation of the world God chose a people for Himself out of this rebellious mess of mankind, and God wrote their names in this Book of Life of the Lamb.

God said: They will be My people, and I will be their God.

No one can steal them away from Me.

The Lord Jesus confirmed these things so clearly in John 10:15, when He said:

John 10:15

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

The Lord Jesus did not say that He would lay down His life for all the people in the world, but He did lay down His life for His sheep; only for His sheep.

Who are His sheep?

All those whose names the Father wrote in the Book of Life of the Lamb before the foundation of the world are His sheep.

If you have trouble seeing this, look at how Jesus is addressing the unbelieving Jews in verse 26:
John 10:26

But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

Jesus said: "ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep".

Jesus did not say: "Ye are not My sheep because you do not believe".

Can you see the difference?


Then Jesus said in verse 27:

John 10:27

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

No ifs and buts. My sheep will hear My voice, and they shall follow Me.

But what about all those:

Whose Names Are Not Written In the Book of Life of the Lamb (John 6:64-66, Matthew 26:24)

In John chapter 6 God answers all the questions we have come across in those three verses of Revelation 13.

The Lord Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews in John 6:64

John 6:64

But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

Jesus knew from the beginning of time who believed Him not, and Jesus knew that Judas Iscariot was going to betray Him.

These unbelieving Jews were a sample of those whose names are NOT written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.

The Lord Jesus did not lay down His life for these people.

Of course, the Lord Jesus did not lay down His life for Judas Iscariot.

The Lord Jesus said of him:

Matthew 26:24

The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.

Without a doubt, Jesus says here that Judas Iscariot would have to pay for his own sins in Hell. Jesus was NOT going to be his Savior.

In fact, most people end up paying for their own sins in Hell, because the Bible says that:

"Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat. And narrow is the gate and troubled is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it".

This alone should scare the dickens out of anyone reading the Bible.

How then can anyone find that narrow gate, which leadeth unto life?

How can anyone get Jesus to be his Savior?

Only those who see the need for Jesus to be their Savior, will have Jesus as their Savior.

In other words, only those who recognize that they are dirty rotten sinners, deserving to go to Hell, will cry out to Jesus for mercy.

But who of mankind wants to believe that they were sinners from the day they were born.

That is what the Bible says.


But who believes the Bible?

Jesus said in John 6:65

John 6:65

And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Allow me to paraphrase this: Jesus said, "No man will believe My Words, no man will come to worship the God of the Bible, except it were given unto him of my Father."

Remember the title of this article: "Which God are we serving?"

Will we believe and worship the God who said these words here in John, chapter 6, or is this one of those chapters that we wished would not be in the Bible?

Jesus said very plainly:

John 6:44
"No man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father".

Only those whom the Father draws to Jesus will believe these words that God is sovereign and He rules in the affairs of man as He pleases.

But this kind of a God is not a popular with man. We read in John 6:66:

John 6:66

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

They were a sampling of those whose names were not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.

But Whose Names Were Written There? (John 6:37, John 6:44, John 6:65, Romans 3:11)

Only the names of those people, in whose life are seen the effects of the miraculous work of God in their heart, of having heard and believed the Gospel of the Bible, the Gospel of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, which is:

1. That we are all sinners and we all were by nature the children of wrath, even as others;

2. That we were saved entirely by the sovereign Grace of God, and not by any of our works;

3. That Christ took upon Himself the sins of all those whom He came to save, and only those;

4. That Christ paid the full payment for those sins, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell;

5. That God the Holy Spirit gave us a new heart so that we would put our trust in the Word of God;

6. That God gave us a repentant spirit and a heart filled with gratitude towards Him;

7. That God promised eternal life now to all those who have a fervent ongoing desire to do His will.

These are the people whose names were written in the Book of Life of the Lamb, and they were written there before the foundation of the world.


Let's look at verse 37 in this chapter. The Lord Jesus said in John 6:37,

John 6:37

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Without fail, all those who were given to Jesus as His Bride, are those whose sins have been paid by Christ on the cross, and shall come to Jesus, not on their own terms, but on God's terms.

What are God's terms?

By Grace alone! By Grace alone! By Grace alone!

But who else would come to Jesus on God's terms: casting aside his own pride, not leaning on his Water Baptism, or on his Profession of Faith, or on his action of making a decision for Jesus, or on any action crafted by man?

Who else would come to Jesus on God's terms?


The Bible says: No One!

Romans 3:11
"There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God".

That is why Jesus says in John 6:44:

John 6:44

No man CAN come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

No one is willing or able to come to Jesus, to come to this Jesus of the Bible, who is also called the Word of God.

Make sure that you understand that if you call on the Name of Jesus, that you are not bearing the Name of the Lord our God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that beareth His Name in vain.

When we even doubt the sovereignty of God, we are bearing the name of the Lord our God in vain.

In case you have still not understood this chapter, the Lord Jesus says again in verse 65,

John 6:65

And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Whose names were written there?


All those who give the credit of their salvation to God alone.

If Any Man Have an Ear, Let Him Hear (Revelation 13:9, John 6:45, John 6:63)

Perhaps you remember, when we were in Revelation 13:1-9, that verse 9 ended with these words:

Revelation 13:9

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Who does not have an ear?

Well, there are some deaf people around, but they too can be saved.

What then does God have in mind when He said: "If any man have an ear, let him hear"?

God does not have physical ears in mind.

God is speaking to all those who received from God spiritual ears with which we can hear spiritual truths.

These are ears of discernment, to discern truth from error.

Moreover, can you see that this is the application of all the preceding verses in Rev 13?

God said:

Revelation 13:8

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (shall worship Satan), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

In other words, God said: "Listen carefully, this is important.

The Church around the world shall fall into apostasy, because Satan will come with gospels that are so close to the true Gospel that most people in the Church are unable to discern between the true Gospel and the false gospel.

Put on the whole armor of God. Be prepared.

Those remaining faithful will be few.

You will be maligned.

You will be gossiped about.

You will be called a cult.

You will be called old fashioned.

You will be accused of not being filled with the spirit. And so on.

Just remain faithful to the Word of God, and I will not let you down.

Hang on to the Gospel of Grace alone, and I will not let you down."

And when we have done all that God has commanded us, and we are prepared, and we do remain faithful to the Bible, we must remember that we only could do it by the Grace of God.

Philippians 2:13

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

God Himself will guide us all the way, both in our justification as well as in our sanctification, so that we will know which God we are serving.

God says it again, here in John 6:45,

John 6:45

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

Whom does the Father give spiritual ears to hear so that they come to Jesus?

He gives spiritual ears to those whom the Father has chosen before the foundation of the world to be the Bride of Christ.

His Grace is irresistable.

And what are the channels that God uses to reach the ears of those He intends to save?

God says it here in John 6:63,

John 6:63

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The words God speaks to us through any of the channels He provides, those words are the substance of our spiritual understanding:

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

What Does the Spirit Say unto the Churches? (Revelation 2:7, John 6:67-69)

God says to us in Revelation 2:7,

Revelation 2:7

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

God repeats the same sentence in Revelation 2:11, Revelation 2:17, Revelation 2:29, and in Revelation 3:6, Revelation 3:13, and Revelation 3:22.

When God says it seven times, it must be quite important.

What does the Spirit of God have to say to the Churches?

In summary, what was the message to the seven Churches of Asia Minor?

Paraphrased, God says: Make sure that you know which God you worship.

When Jesus declared: "No man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father", there was immediately a falling away of many of His disciples.

This was not the God whom they wanted to worship.

They wanted to worship a god of their own liking.

We see the same thing in most of today's Churches.

When you tell people that they can trust in their Profession of Faith, or trust in their Water Baptism, or when you tell people that they can accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior right now,
they will fill your church, because you will be bringing them a gospel that they like.

But God will then hold you accountable for His words in John chapter 6.

Do you dare to call God a liar?


Whose friend would you rather be?

John 6:67

Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

John 6:68

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

John 6:69

And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Eleven of the disciples agreed with Peter. This was not something that Peter and the eleven disciples dreamed up. This was given them by revelation from God. God has done His work in them.

When a giant named Goliath defamed God's honor, David did not hesitate to risk his life, because he could not bear to hear his God being blasphemed by this giant.

Will we stand for the truth when our God is being defamed?

Will we stand up for the truth of the Word of God?

Today in many Churches which used to be quite orthodox, Hell is not mentioned any more, the wrath of God is not mentioned any more and the sovereignty of God is not mentioned any more.

This means that many pastors do not preach the cross of Christ any more.

How can you preach Christ crucified without mentioning Hell, without mentioning the wrath of God and without mentioning the particular atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ?

It is not possible, unless you tell only lies.

What does the Spirit say unto the Churches?

Make sure that you know which God you worship.

By Alfred J. Chompff