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Month 11:29, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5936:324 AM
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 9 February 2013
Are We Predestined?
Calvinism & Arminianism Compared

    Continued from Part 1 (Calvinism)


    Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and abundant grace be upon you who adhere to, and rely wholly on, the Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) for your salvation and for your journey in life.

    Calvinism vs. Arminianism

    Today's sermon was prompted by a dream my wife had the other day which got me thinking about a subject I have discoursed on before and which holds, in my view, one of the deepest mysteries of life. The two passages that speak of this mystery, which we will examine presently, have caused tremendous strife particularly in Protestant circles and continue to divide Evangelicals into two camps: Calvinists and Arminians - those who believe in absolutele predestination versus those who believe in free will, respectively, when it comes to salvation (with Lutherans somewhere in the middle).

    The Five Tennets of Arminianism

    From our very inception in the 1980's, Messianic Evangelicals (also known as New Covenant Christians) have always broadly-speaking adhered to Arminianism. The Dutch Protestant theologian Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) and his historic supporters, known as the 'Remonstrants', may be said to have first promoted this teaching in the Reformation. Dutch Arminianism was originally articulated in the Remonstrance (1610), a theological statement signed by 45 ministers and submitted to the States-General of the Netherlands. The Synod of Dort (1618–19) was called by the States-General to consider the Five Articles of Remonstrance. They asserted that:

    • 1. Election (and condemnation on the day of judgment) was conditioned by the rational faith or nonfaith of man;
    • 2. The Atonement, while qualitatively adequate for all men, is efficacious only for the man of emunah (faith);
    • 3. Unaided by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), no person is able to respond to Yahweh’s will;
    • 4. Grace is resistible; and
    • 5. Believers are able to resist sin but are not beyond the possibility of falling from grace.

    The crux of Remonstrant Arminianism lay in the assertion that human dignity requires an unimpaired freedom of the will. Historical denominations coming under the strong influence of this teachings have been the Methodists, Congregationalists, Anabaptists, Waldensians, Universalists, Unitarians and others. Modern denominations embracing Arminianism include Methodists, Free Will Baptists, General Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Church of the Nazarene, The Salvation Army, Conservative Mennonites, Old Order Mennonites, Amish, Charismatics and various Messianics.

    The Five Points of Calvinism

    There are differences between Classical Arminianism and Wesleyan (Methodist) Arminianism but we won't get into those today. Let's rather summarise and contrast general Arminianism with the Five Points of Calvinism sometimes known by the acronym 'TULIP':

    • 1. Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin);
    • 2. Unconditional Election;
    • 3. Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement);
    • 4. Irresistible Grace; and
    • 5. Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

    So Many Non-Biblical Concepts

    From the very start it should be pointed out that 'total', 'depravity', 'unconditional' and 'irresistable' are not biblical words or concepts at all, and the words/concepts 'limited' and 'perseverance' are each only found once. Moreover, 'Total Depravity', 'Unconditional Election', 'Limited Atonement', 'Irresistable Grace' and 'Perseverance of the Saints' are totally absent from the Bible - from Genesis to Revelation - as either word strings, phrases or concepts. These are the inventions of men and are spiritually unclean. I do not therefore feel it is my responsibility, or anyone who else's who does not embrace Calvinism, to disprove these ideas. Rather, the burden of proof is upon the adherents of Calvinism itself to show that these ideas, in spite of their absense from the Davar Elohim (Word of God), are even taught there. And like so many non-biblical dogmas, it its rabidly anti-Torah adherents have historically resorted to killing in order to defend itself against supposed 'heresy'. Calvin burned not a few he considered to be 'heretics' at the stake. Little wonder that Calvinists loathe the Torah and the Tanakh (Old Testament) as a whole so much since the bulk of the Bible stands firmly against it - see my sermon, How the Festivals Disprove Calvinism.

    When time eventually permits, we will make a more thorough theological examination. But for now, what I would like to do instead is compare the three main Protestant doctrines of salvation and will - Arminianism, Lutheranism and Calvinism - to give us a sense of perspective:

    Comparing Arminian, Lutheran and Calvinist Doctrines of Salvation

    Human will Depravity does not prevent free will Total Depravity without free will until spiritual regeneration Total Depravity without free will permanently due to divine sovereignty
    Justification Conditional election in view of foreseen faith or unbelief Unconditional predestination to salvation for the elect Unconditional election to salvation with those outside the elect foreordained to damnation (double- predestination)
    Election Justification made possible for all through Messiah's death, but only completed upon choosing faith in Yah'shua (Jesus) Justification by faith alone, completed at Messiahs death. Justification is limited to those predestined to salvation, completed at Messiahs death
    Conversion Synergistic, resistible due to the common grace of free will Monergistic, through the means of grace, resistible Monergistic, through the inner calling of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), irresistible
    Preservation & Apostacy Preservation is conditional upon continued faith in Messiah; with the possibility of a final apostasy. Falling away is possible, but Yahweh gives assurance of preservation. Perseverance of believers: the eternally elect in Messiah will necessarily persevere in faith
    Table adapted from Wikipedia, Arminianism

    The Scriptures on Predestination

    So what does the word "predestination" actually mean? There are only two passages in the Scriptures that speak of this subject, both from the pen of Paul, so we had better begin by taking a careful look at them:

      "And we know that in all things Elohim (God) works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those Elohim (God) foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified" (Rom.8:28-30, NIV).

      "For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Elohim's (God's) grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Messiah, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Messiah.

      "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Messiah, might be for the praise of His glory. And you also were included in Messiah when you heard the word of emet (truth), the besorah (gospel) of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are Elohim's (God's) possession - to the praise of His glory" (Eph.1:3-14, NIV).

    Factoring in Pre-Existence

    How you interpret these passages will, in part, depend whether or not you believe we had a spiritual pre-existence (not to be confused with reincarnation) or not. Were we made de novo at conception in both body and spirit, or did our spirit exist in a prior state before incarnation?

    Is 'Destiny' a Biblical Concept?

    Irrespective of whether you believe we had a pre-moral existence or not, we are still able to look at these passages and ask ourselves whether the Bible actually teaches a doctrine of 'destiny' or 'fate'. We have to ask this question because of our choice of English words when rendering ancient languages like Hebrew or Greek into modern ones like English.

    Destiny and Fate Examined in Religion and Culture

    'Destiny' or 'fate' is usually thought of as a predetermined (predestined) course of events beyond human control. A typical response to a belief in destiny is resignation — if we can’t change destiny, then why even try? Whatever happens, happens, and we can’t do anything about it. This is called 'fatalism,' and it is not biblical. It is a central tenet of Islam as well as Calvinism, both believing essentially (at least in the realm of salvation as far as Calvinism is concerned) that Elohim (God) determines everything and we are but actors on the stage without any real free will at all as to whether we go to heaven or burn eternally in hell. Destiny or fate also figures strongly in Hinduism which is why there is such a rigid caste system in India today.

    Pagan Mythology in Ancient Greek

    The ancient Greeks were also fatalists and believed in the Moirai, or the Fates, three goddesses pictured as weavers of men's lives (see image at the head of this sermon). Their decisions could not be canceled or annulled, even by other gods. This we need to bear in mind because of the way this pagan mythology influenced the Greek language, albeit the popular koine variant, into which the New Testament came to be translated and was then circulated. All non-Hebraic languages are influenced by their pagan past.

    Did the Greek Translator Translate Correctly?

    The choice of words made by a translator can be vitally important to understanding doctrinal emet (truth). The Greek translator(s) chose the word proorizo (to limit in advance, figuratively pre-determine, ordain, predestinate), a compound of pro (in front of, before, prior) and horizo (as in the English word 'horizon' - to mark out, bound, appoint, decree, declair, ordain, specify). And the Greek word most definitely does mean 'predestine' and in the sense of pagan Greek fatalism. But is that what Paul actually said? How can we check up his original sense? By going to the earlier Hebraic language, and specifically, to Aramaic in which we believe the New Testament Scriptures were originally written. It was the lingua franca of both Yah'shua (Jesus) and the apostles. Studying that gives some helpful insights. Let's do that now.

    Marking and Foreordaining

      "But we know that those who love Eloah (God), He aids in everything for good, those whom He before determined to be called. And from the first, He knew them and marked them out with the likeness of the image of His Son the He might be the firstborn of many brothers. And those whom He before marked, He called, and those whom He called, He justified, and those whom He justified, He glorified" (Rom.8:28-30, HRV).

    This rendering of the Aramaic alters the emphasis considerably. Indeed, it is not at all easy to render passages such as this. Take, for example, the following translation:

      "We know that Elohim (God) causes all things to work together for good, to those who love Elohim (God), to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He foreordained, those He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified" (Rom.8:28-30, MRC).

    Foreordination vs. Predestination

    The use of "foreordained", a word which has a different sense to "predestined", may now be found in Protestant translations too such as the NASB. Catholic versions like the Jerusalem Bible prefer "chose specially".

    Calling and Choosing

    To really understand what the Ruach (Spirit) is conveying to us we must interpret such sayings with reference to others and not take them in isolation. For instance, is there an intervening selection process in becoming "chosen", and if so, what is it? Quite clearly there is:

      "For many are called (NIV - "invited"), but few are chosen" (Matt.22:14, KJV).

    Selection Criteria

    A "calling" preceeds a "choosing", and since only a fraction of the called are chosen, there must clearly be selection criteria - it is neither a random process nor is it made arbitrarily by Elohim (God) without reference to specific human action or choices. Like an examination, many are called to sit it but not all necessarily pass it or obtain the highest grade.

    A Teacher's Illustration

    I am a retired professional educator and even as a finite mortal I could look at a student and know whther he or she was likely to pass or fail. This is the human version of 'foreknowledge' which is a little different from 'predestination'. I pretty well knew, in advance, based on a student's intelligence, work ethic and record, whether they would succeed or not. Being finite I was, of course, sometimes mistaken (in both directions - some doing better and others doing worse than anticipated).

    Yahweh's Infallible Foreknowledge

    But Yahweh is infinite and omniscient (all-knowing) - He foreknew all that we would choose and become - He knew those who would choose salvation before they were even born. The difference between Him and us is that He always knows the outcome and we do not. Everyone starts with the same opportunity to accept or reject Him, no matter what their circumstances, no matter whether they hear the Name (Yah'shua/Jesus) spoken and the Besorah (Gospel) preached or not because it is a consistent MIND and HERAT disposition which is either for or against emet (truth), obedience, and righteousness that ultimately counts.

    Fate and Destiny - Our Free Will

      "The Bible teaches that Man was created with the ability to make moral choices and that he is responsible for those choices. The Fall of Man was not a predetermined event in which Adam and Eve were hapless victims of a Puppet-Master Elohim (God). On the contrary, Adam and his wife had the ability to choose obedience (with its attendant blessing) or disobedience (with its consequent curse). They knew what the result of their decision would be, and they were held accountable (Genesis 3).

      "This theme of being held accountable for our choices continues throughout Scripture. “He who sows wickedness reaps trouble” (Proverbs 22:8a). “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23). “Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you” (Romans 13:3).

      "Often, when the Bible speaks of destiny, it's in reference to a destiny people have brought upon themselves: “Many live as enemies of the cross of Messiah. Their destiny is destruction” (Philippians 3:18-19). “This is the fate of those who trust in themselves” (Psalm 49:13). “A man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself” (Proverbs 6:32). “Each person was judged according to what he had done” (Revelation 20:13).

      "We sin because we choose to. We can’t blame “Fate,” kismet, predestination, or Elohim (God). James 1:13-14 says, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘Elohim (God) is tempting me.’ For Elohim (God) cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”

      "Interestingly, many people who choose to sin are annoyed by the negative consequences of their sin. “A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against Yahweh” (Proverbs 19:3). This is a very insightful verse. When a man foolishly wrecks his life, he may yet insist on blaming Elohim (God), or perhaps “Fate.” In this way, he persists in his folly.

      "Scripture also teaches that we choose to have faith. The oft-repeated command in Scripture to believe implies that we do have a choice in the matter. “Be not faithless, but believing”" (John 20:27; see also Acts 16:31; 19:4). [1]

    Having said and acknowledged these biblical truths, we must add a qualifier - man does not have absolute freedom of action in this world. We work within powerful constraints - against governments, nature, other individuals, our conscience, and much else besides. Anyone who has been around long enough comes to understand that we are not as 'free' as we might like to believe or hope we are, even in so-called 'free' societies. We are limited by all kinds of things. We soon discover that not many are able to 'change the world' let alone their local village. Changing ourself proves equally impossible without divine help. A few do change the world, but very, very few, and always with divine permission, whether they acknowledge Elohim's (God's) restraining or enabling activity or not. Understanding what those invisible restrictions are is part of the mystery of life.

    Fate and Destiny - Yahweh’s Sovereignty

      "Lest we get the wrong idea, we are not the sovereign masters of our fate. Only Elohim (God) is sovereign. His sovereign control is called “providence.” He has chosen to give us a free will, and He has created a moral universe in which the law of cause-and-effect is a reality. But Elohim (God) is Elohim (God) alone, and there are no “accidents” in the universe.

      "An all-wise, all-powerful Elohim (God) must have a plan, so it should be no surprise that the Bible speaks of a divine plan. Elohim's (God's) plan, since it belongs to Elohim (God), is holy, wise, and benevolent. The providence of Elohim (God) is working to bring about His original plan for creation.

      "Elohim (God) speaks in Isaiah 48:3, “I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.” What Elohim (God) announces, He does (and He may announce it centuries ahead of time!).

      "Fighting against the plan of Elohim (God) is pointless. “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against Yahweh” (Proverbs 21:30). This is why the Tower of Babel was never completed (Genesis 11:1-9), why Daniel’s detractors were thrown to the lions (Daniel 6:24), why Jonah spent time inside a fish (Jonah 1:17), and why I get in trouble when I sin.

      "Even what we would normally call “chance” or “fate” is under Elohim's (God's) control. “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from Yahweh” (Proverbs 16:33). In other words, Elohim (God) does not take a “hands-off” approach to running the world.

      "Everything that happens in the world is made to work out according to Elohim's (God's) purpose. Evil exists, but it is not allowed to thwart Elohim's (God's) providence. Elohim (God) uses even sinful men for His purposes. “The king's heart is in the hand of Yahweh; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1). Elohim (God) worked in the hearts of the Egyptians (Exodus 12:36) and King Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:27) to bring about His purpose. Even when Man’s intent is purely evil, Elohim (God) can still bring about His will, as in the case of those who crucified Yah'shua (Jesus) (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28).

      "Elohim's (God's) plan includes a reward for those who trust in Him, and He promises to glorify His children. “We speak of Elohim's (God's) secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that Elohim (God) destined for our glory before time began...As it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what Elohim (God) has prepared for those who love him’” (1 Corinthians 2:7-9). Note the use of the word 'destined' in this passage — and that it’s a destiny based on our love for Yahweh." [2]

    We operate in a sphere in which Yahweh has ultimate control and overseership. The unseen Hand steers all and we have free-will within that sphere but not above or over it. Even Satan and his demons are subject to it. We have the freedom to choose or reject Him but not to prevent others from doing the same. We can make life miserable for people, even intolerable, but we are not permitted to rob them of their agency to choose salvation or reject it.

    Fate and Destiny - An Individual Plan

      "Elohim's (God's) sovereignty reaches even to a plan for our individual lives. This is illustrated in Yahweh’s calling of Jeremiah — before the prophet was even born. “The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).

      "David also recognized that Yahweh had a plan for him. “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). Because of this knowledge, David sought Yahweh’s specific guidance in many situations, such as in 1 Samuel 23:9-12." [3]

    We are "appointed" to different tasks in this life by Yahweh and are gifted accordingly. We can choose to reject those appointments and prostitute our gifts to serve self-interest or the Enemy's kingdom if we so choose but we cannot prevent others from choosing salvation if they so choose. Even those with Alzheimer's, whose brains are not functioning properly any longer, are able to make choices within - in their spirits - whilst still in the flesh. That is why, I believe, many are permitted to remain in an apparently vegetable state - they are still in the business of making choices within. I often watch and hear my 98 year-old mother, whom I take care of several hours a day, having gargantuan struggles within in that sate between sleep and wakefulness. There is a reason for everything that Yahweh permits. If we tarry, we do so because Yahweh wills it, to make vital, eternity-effecting choices before our mottal probation ends.

    Pre-Existent Foundation Blocks

    I mentioned that my wife had an interesting dream about this subject the other day. As near as I can recall it, in her dream she was talking with Yah'shua (Jesus) and He was showing her that those who are saved in this life arrive in this life with a pre-existent foundation. These she was able to see as white blocks. Such souls are 'marked' or 'foreordained', just as John the Baptist was in his mother Elizabeth's womb, and was filled with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) before he was born. Indeed that unborn child spiritually recognised the presence of the unborn Messiah in the womb of Mary who was visiting, and kicked forcefully inside!

    Actors Bound to a Script?

    Humans have volition, free agency, or choice - they can choose their salvation or reject it. However, it is absolutely not true to say that Yahweh made our minds up for us before we were born and that we are simply following a divinely mapped-out 'destiny' or 'fate' when we come to Yah'shua (Jesus) and salvation. Thus for a Calvinist it is entirely Yahweh's initiative and His action - we are, like robots, in effect, simply running a pre-written program of acceptance of the choice Yahweh made for us before we were born. We are simply pre-scripted actors in a movie over which we have zero control. I don't buy into that. I believe it demeans the character of Elohim (God) and is contradicted flatly by the Scriptures.

    Calvinist Farce

    Both Calvinists and Arminians recognise that they must seek out and witness to everyone, even those who are not apparently 'predestined to salvation', though for the life of me I can't understand why one would bother if there was no choice involved. If we are all predestined one way or another, all one would need is a revelation saying who is of the elect and who is not so that we could focus on those who are the already-called-to-be-saved. All we would need was a revelation showing those with those white foundational building blocks in place. Then our mission would simply be to tell them what they aleady are, including those who perhaps don't know it or have forgotten it. In fact, I don't see the need of a human agent at all in this scenario. Indeed, I don't see why we even need to be on earth at all if it has already been decided. Then mortality becomes nothing more than a farce - a huge game - and to what purpose?

    No Justice or Fairness

    Given that so many people believe in this doctrine I am frankly not surprised that so many others are turned off Christianity by it. It lacks any true sense of justice or fairness. The steeley-eyed fanaticism that is generated by doctrines such as these reminds me of occultism in so many different ways which, playing to pride, loves to speak of the "destiny" of the great. It lacks the character trait of the one who is authentically in Messiah - humility. The fact that it has a Christian label stuck onto it doesn't change what it really is.

    For those of you would like to make a thorough investigation of the claims of Calvinism, I recommend Dave Hunt's book, What Love is This? Calvinism's Misrepresentation of God (The Berean Call, Bend, Oregon: 2006).

    Focussing on the Right People

    In my wife's dream Yah'shua (Jesus) told her to focus her attention on those who had the white foundation blocks because the others would have their time later. I believe what this means is that either there is a time to witness to those whom Yahweh knows will not receive the Besorah (Gospel) (since only one Ruach/Spirit-filled witness is required for them to have their chance) or, since there is a time and season when people are best prepared to hear the emet (truth) and receive it that we should not waste time witnessing to those who are close-minded still. Here we must listen to the Ruach (Spirit) to to focus on those who are ready now whether they have said their life-changing 'yes' or not to Yah'shua (Jesus). He isn't saying, 'focus only on born-again believers' (i.e. discipleship) but rather, be led by the Ruach (Spirit) to bless those foreordained to salvation whose foundation was laid before they were born, who are open and willing to hear and embrace the emet (truth). There are many who are foreordained to salvation who remain close-minded and who need some calamity or other situation to waken them up.

    The Sevenfold Process of Overcoming

    Timing is everything. Yahweh knows when we are ready to receive the next piece of the puzzle to either bring us to initial salvation ('salvation past'), maintain us in that salvation ('salvation present') or to take us to the next stage in the sevenfold process of sanctfication and spiritual growth represented by the seven annual festivals ('salvation future' - "he who stands firm to the end will be saved" - Matt.10:22, NIV). Unlike the Calvinist who believes "once saved, always saved", we believe that if a former believer becomes, for example, an outright satanist and killer that he is in mortal danger of losing his salvation. Indeed, for the Calvinist, there is no point in bothering to "overcome" since by his initial choice he has already made it in his scheme of salvation, no matter what he does.

    The New Compared with the Lapsed and Returning Believer

    A distinction must here be made between someone who has met and therefore known Messiah (who subsequently apostacises and denies his salvation) and one who is now living that salvation. To be saved is to be living in that salvation, not to have departed out of salvation and be living as the unsaved do. There is, to be sure, a difference between one who has never been saved and one who has been saved and has lost it. The difference (from the point-of-view of the one who was saved) is that he has not only vacaccated his salvation, as it were, but has also temporarily forgotten what it was to be living in that salvation. The Calvinist not only asserts that one who has lapsed can remember but that remembering is also to be automatically in that salvation once again.

    Remembering From Whence We Came

    Those who have never been saved also go through a remembering process - they remember from whence they have come: Elohim (God) and that He is their true home. But remembering is not enough. Once the memory is retored, there yet remains the choice to repent and surrender to make the atonement efficicious and the salvation a reality. There must be a regeneration - a transformation of the soul leading to an endowment of ahavah (love) and grace toward Elohim (God) and all men. And we demonstrate our love toward Elohim (God) by obeying His mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah:

    Love, Torah, Anointing and Salvation

      "If you love Me, keep My mitzvot (commandments). And I will ask of My Father and He will give you another comforter (paraclete) that will be with you forever, the Ruach Emet (Spirit of Truth) that the world is not able to receive, because it has not seen and does not know. But you know because [the Ruach/Spirit) abides with you and is in you. I will not leave you orphaned, for I will come to you in a little bit" (John 14:15-18, HRV).

    What It is to Be Saved

    To be saved is to abide in the Ruach Emet (Spirit of Truth) - to have the Comforter dwelling within, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) who, as our Heavenly Mother, causes us to cease being orphans. Without the Ruach (Spirit) we are blind and cannot know the emet (truth) that saves - the emet (truth) that leads us Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) and keeps us in Him. Notice particularly that there has to be a sincere desire to obey the mitzvot (commandments) - the Torah - and it is to those who choose to obey these mitzvot (commandments) because of the ahavah (love) they have for Yah'shua (Jesus) that causes Yah'shua (Jesus) to ask Yahweh the Father to send the Comforter to be with the believer forever. This is important to grasp because the presence of the Ruach (Spirit), caused by our desire to obey Torah because we love the Messiah, is the maintenance of 'salvation present'.

    True Love Always Leads to Torah-Obedience

    True ahavah (love) always leads to obedience to the Father's Law (Torah), and this ahavah (love)-in-Torah-obedience is what ensures that the Comforter remains forever and is "the Ruach (Spirit) [given] as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" (2 Cor.5:5, NIV), namely, 'salvation future'. This is the anointing with which Yahweh the Father in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) "anointed us, set[ing] his seal of ownership on us, and put[ting] his Ruach (Spirit) in our levim (hearts) as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" (2 Cor.1:21-22, NIV).

    The Nature of the Deposit

    This emet (truth) Calvinism knows nothing of. It does not understand that the deposit is contingent upon ahavah (love) leading to the desire and action to be obedient to Torah. This does not mean that we lose our salvation every time we sin even if the Ruach (Spirit) - the deposit guaranteeing our final inheritance - departs when we refuse to make teshuvah or repent. So long as we repent, by confessing and forsaking sin, and being obedient again, adhering and clinging to Messiah our Saviour, then we remain justified - in right standing, or in right relationship with our Heavenly Father. Only when we refuse to repent, when we deliberately turn away and walk in another direction away from Yah'shua (Jesus) and His Derech (Way) of mitzvot (commandments), does the Ruach (Spirit) depart and remain departed. Grace is extended for a period of time until the demands of justice eventually have their way and we walk away from our salvation too. Turning around, repenting, surrendering, trusting, loving Him again and demonstrating that ahavah (love) by once again walking in the mitzvot (commandments) causes the Ruach Emet (Spirit of Truth), the Comforter, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), our Heavenly Mother, to once more return, once again re-establishing salvation-present and guaranteeing salvation-future.

    There is No Cheap Grace

    There is no cheap grace in the emet (truth) but in Calvinism grace is indeed cheap and devalued because it does not view grace (Mother) in its proper bridal relationship to Law (Torah) (Father). As Father plus Mother gives Son, so Torah (Law) plus Grace (undeserved loving kindness, unmerited favour) gives Salvation. Calvinism shatters the 'family' relationship, divorcing Father from Mother, leaving an Orphan wondering what kind of a 'God' he has been worshipping, one who, without any choice or action of the son (or daughter), arbitrarily predestines one group of people to eternal salvation and another to eternal damnation.

    Fate and Destiny - Putting It All Together

      "In Acts 9, Yah'shua (Jesus) appears to Saul of Tarsus with an interesting statement: “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (verse 5). Yah'shua (Jesus) obviously had a plan for Saul, and Saul had been (painfully) resisting it. Exercising our freedom against Elohim's (God’s) plan can be painful.

      "Later, Yah'shua (Jesus) tells Saul that a man named Ananias would come to visit — and then Yah'shua (Jesus) tells Ananias (verses 11-12)! Obviously, Yah'shua (Jesus) had a pre-arranged plan for Ananias as well. Now, Ananias didn’t want to visit Saul (verse 13-14). He could have been like Jonah and run the other way. If that had been his choice, Elohim (God) would have had a “fish” prepared to bring him back. Fortunately, Ananias obeyed (verse 17). Exercising our freedom to follow Elohim's (God’s) plan brings a blessing.

      "In summary, the Bible teaches that Elohim (God) is in charge. At the same time, He has given us the freedom to obey or disobey Him, and there are some things that Elohim (God) does only in answer to prayer (James 4:2).

      "Elohim (God) blesses the obedient, and He is patient with those who disobey, even to the point of seeming laxity. He has a plan for our lives, which includes our happiness and His glory both in this world and in the world to come. Those who accept Christ as Savior have accepted Elohim's (God’s) plan (John 14:6). From then on, it’s a step-by-step following of Elohim's (God’s) best for us, praying for His will to be done (Matthew 6:10), and avoiding the sidetrack of sin (Psalm 32:1-11; 119:59; Hebrews 12:1-2)." [4]

    Completing the Arminian Reformation

    The problem with Calvinism is not so much with the ingredients but the proportions and way in which they are mixed together, with some vital ingredients (like the Torah) being deliberately left out altogether. Not that Protestant Arminianism isn't guilty of the same in a different way for the Arminianism of which we speak might perhaps better be called Messianic Arminianism. We do not, of course, have any problems accepting the Five Articles of Remonstrance of Arminianism for they are true: we simply go one step further, completing the Reformation by reminding believers that the proof of our salvation and ahavah (love) must, as Scripture demands, be our desire and effort to be faithful to the mitzvot (commandments) - all of them.

    Eternal Damnation vs. Universal Salvation

    We are also of that school of Arminianism that does not believe in eternal damnation but rather universal graded salvation, with the stress on 'graded' since those other Arminians who describe themselves as 'universalists' tend not to recognise the fact that there are three different types or categories of resurrection spoken of in Scripture - like most Protestants, they believe in only one common resurrection for believers.

    The Methodist Light

    The early Methodists (as opposed to their modern degenerate and apostate descendants [5]) perhaps exemplified the true spirit of Arminianism better than any other group, their adherence to a number of other false doctrines not withstanding. There is no doubt that the Wesley brothers were chosen to be the centre of a revival by Yahweh in their time. Their hymns continue to inspire, their fire and passion for Messiah to quicken the lev (heart), and the Arminian truths they embraced to reflect well on the true nature of Elohim (God). Alas, no longer, for without the pillars of Torah they have succumbed to the spirits of the age and now serve the Enemy's agenda. A truly sad ending for what was once a noble and inspiring work of Elohim (God) with the promise of greater things.


    The greater things have passed by the Methodists and other Protestant Arminians and found residence in the restoration of Torah in the Body. It is of these things we love to speak, preach and practice. We invite you, the seeker, to come and see.


    [1] Got Questions.org, What does the Bible say about fate/destiny?
    [2] Ibid.
    [3] Ibid.
    [4] Ibid.
    [5] The modern Methodist Church is a pale reflection of its dynamic and Spirit-filled ancestor. Modern Methodists, infected by liberalism, have watered down their version of the Besorah (Gospel) to such an extent that it is best classified now as New Age. This is invariably the fruit of antinomianism - lawlessness, the result of rejecting Torah.

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    Last updated on 9 February 2013

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