Month 7:12, Week 2:4 (Revee/Shavu'ot), Year:Day 5940:188 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 12 October 2016
& an Exposé of Calvinism's Errors
"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.
"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If Elohim (God) is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom Elohim (God) has chosen? It is Elohim (God) who justifies. Who is He that condemns? Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of Elohim (God) and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the ahavah (love) of Messiah? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither malakim (angels) nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the ahavah (love) of Elohim (God) that is in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) our Master" (Rom.8:28-39, NIV).
This is one of the favourite passages of Calvinists  who uses it to advance, in my mind, one of the most horrific and pernicious doctrines ever to arise in Christendom, a doctrine that completely twists and defaces the true ahavah (love) of Elohim (God) - the notion that Yahweh arbitrarily predestined some to eternal salvation and the rest to an eternal hell. This is also known as the doctrine of 'limited atonement', the idea that Yah'shua (Jesus) only atoned for those predestined to salvation and not for those predestined to hell, expressly contradicted by such passages of Scripture telling us that Messiah "died for all" (e.g. 2 Cor.5:14-15; 1 Pet.3:18).
Understanding Romans 8
What I would like to share with you today is my understanding of today's passage and about whom it is really talking about. I am endebted to Brother Gabriel Ljungstrand who has helped me flesh some of the concepts out based on his own extensive studies.
The Incredible Foreknowledge of Elohim
To most believers, Yahweh's "foreknowing" or "foreknowledge" was a prognosis of what would come, and this is certainly one sense of the word, for Yahweh is most definitely omniscient (all-knowing) - He is able to know in advance every micro- and macro-choice that we are ever going to make, a complex enough equation for us to fathom but incredible when you consider He foreknew every choice every single human being would ever make throughout the ages both individually and collectively before anyone was even born. We are unable to fathom such a wonderful thing and so we are able to say 'Amen' to the revelation and declaration of the Almighty Himself when He said:
The Divine Intimate Knowing of Man Before Conception
"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways,'
"'As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts'"
There is another, very important sense to the concept of "foreknowledge" that we must understand to grasp the whole picture because the Hebrew word used here is yada which implies 'intimacy' which it is why is it also used of physical intercourse and therefore the special intimacy between husband and wife. This is not, therefore, merely an intellectual foreknowing but a very personal foreknowing. In other words, Yahweh knew us as persons even before we were conceived. Speaking to Jeremiah, He said:
The Pre-Existence of Man
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a navi (prophet) to the nations
In other words, Yahweh had an intimate personal relationship - as of a father with a son - with Jeremiah both before he was conceived (formed in the womb) and before he was born (from the womb). In other words, Jeremiah (and therefore, by extension, all human beings) had an existence before conception and gestation in the womb. This we call pre-existence.
He Knew Us Previously
This same sense is made clear in the Aramaic version of Romans which renders our passage thus:
The Addressed Minority
"And we know that He (Yahweh) aids him in all things for good, who love Elohim (God); them whom He called from before our beginning according to His purpose. And He knew them previously..." (Rom.8:28-29a, AENT) .
Once we understand that Paul, like Jeremiah, is speaking of the pre-existence, which Calvinists (along with most Arminians) adamantly insist cannot possibly be (for it destroys their monstrous doctrine), then we can begin to understand that Yahweh is talking, not about all believers, but to a specific group of believers, to a minority. Who are these people?
Pre-Mortal Covenants of the Elect
First, they had intimacy with Yahweh before they were physically incarnated, and intimacy - as in marriage - implies covenants and vows. These are sons and daughters of Yahweh who entered into agreements with their Heavenly Father before they were ever conceived in their mothers' wombs or born on earth into the world. Judging by the description and character of these believers in our passage, it becomes clear that we are looking at a band of dedicated men and women who entered into agreements with the Most High do go through whatever sufferings might be required of them in order to draw as close to Him as possible. Paul is here speaking of the elect, the remnant, the firstborn, being the called who are also the chosen (Mt.20:16; 22:14). These, then, are the ones who are "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".
This passage, then, has nothing to do with who is, and who is not, saved; but rather, points to those of the already saved willing to follow Messiah in all things, who are destined for one kind of glory, whereas those who would not make this choice must of necessity be predestined to another lesser type glory, receiving a resurrection in accordance with that glory they chose, if they remained faithful:
The Olympic Analogy
"There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead" (1 Cor.15:41-42, NKJV).
This also contradicts cherished Protestant beliefs about there being no different glories and resurrections. For nearly all Protestants believe that everybody will receive the same heaven and the same glory, even though Scriptures clearly contradict this position, even though they will conceed there will be different rewards based on our deeds on earth without understanding how this plays out in practice. But if we are rewarded according to our deeds, how can there be a uniform glory? There are three glories in any Olympic competition too, namely, gold, silver and bronze. That they believe there is only one glory and resurrection is a contradiction in terms. The reason they believe this is because of the Calvinist doctrine of souls being predestined to salvation - if Yahweh has indeed predestined certain souls to be saved and the rest to be damned, then it follows that those thus saved must all receive the same reward and glory since they had no part in choosing their salvation. It would hardly be fair otherwise.
Predestined Salvation and OSAS
There are numerous contradictions in the Calvinist - and indeed the overall Orthodox Protestant - doctrine. They make no sense when carefully scrutinised. But multiple glories and resurrections, so clearly spoken of by the Apostle Paul, make perfect sense and need not be shuffled to one side, ignored or fudged. If a manuscript with this passage could be found that omits these verses, I guarantee that most of Protestantism would scramble to drop them from English Bible translations in order to leave their doctrines untainted by the emet (truth). And one of those doctrines, almost as hideous, in my view, to the doctrine of predestined salvation, is that of Once Saved, Always Saved, which is in accordance with the doctrine of that preacher from Geneva who said that we really do not need to do much of anything at all to be a believer and be guaranteed a permanent place in Heaven, even if we were to backslide and become a dedicated satanist and Christ-hater and die that way.
The Two Controversies With Calvinism
I am not, you understand, saying that we can do anything to be saved. You cannot earn your salvation. There is no dispute about this emet (truth) with Evangelical Christians on our part. This is not even the issue here. The issue is that:
Three Categories of Son
- You can lose your salvation once you have exhausted grace through persistent and stubborn rebellion; and that
- You can improve your resurrection and glory in the next life based on the choices you make here after you have been saved.
There are, then, three main categories of 'son' in the Scriptures, namely:
- 1. The unique and only-begotten Son of Yahweh, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ);
- 2. The Sons of Elohim (God) who have grown to spiritual maturity (the elect, remnant, firstborn, first resurrection); and
- 3. The Children of Elohim (God) who, for whatever reason, chose not to grow to maturity through unbelief and disobedience (second resurrection).
The second category, because they made covenants and vows in the pre-mortal existence, have been given toqef (authority), and will be justified and glorified - not because they have some sort of predestined 'right' but because they torally surrendered their will and free agency before they were born, retaining presumably only the choice to be true to the path they covenanted in the spirit world before birth. They have thus given Yahweh permission to do with them whatsoever He wishes, for His glory and Kingdom, and will, in their turn, be glorified with a glory the the intensity of the sun to the earthbound observer. Can they fall? Not according to Scripture, but they will understandably be the especial targets of the Enemy "for false messiahs and false nevi'im (prophets) will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Mark 13:22, NKJV).
No Accusation Against the Chosen Can Stand
Yahweh promises the elect or chosen "all things" and declares that the devil will not be able to bring any charge against them:
Can the Elect Know Who They Are?
"Who will bring any charge against those whom Elohim (God) has chosen? It is Elohim (God) who justifies" (Rom.8:33, NIV).
Paul may well turn out to be a lot deeper than even Protestant divines imagined. An important point to underline - nobody can possibly know they are the elect until Yahweh removes the veil from their eyes at the Judgment. So no one can go around and boast! We simply don't know who is who which is why we must treat everyone alike. Just because I'm a reasonably good theologian and seasoned pastor doesn't mean I am necessarily of the 'elect' or 'remnant'. Anyone who says he or she is, is frankly guessing. And once you get it into your head that you might be the crême de la crême you are invariable going to succumb to pride and in so doing likely prove you are not the 'elect', 'remnant', 'firstborn' or whatever. So all must maintain an attitude of humility and obey the injunction to "in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Phil.2:3, NIV). Indeed, that is one of the beautiful things about the Besorah (Gospel) - there is never an occasion to boast in anything save Messiah (2 Cor.10:17). That said, it is not an act of piety, humility or modesty to then go any deny the plain sense of Scripture which says that there are different glories and resurrections based on what men and women chose to do and based on pre-mortal covenants. That is not modesty - its setting yourself up against the Davar Elohim (Word of God). It's false piety which is another form of pride.
Believers Will Turn Away
So my question is this: Can believers be "separate[d] ... from the ahavah (love) of Elohim (God) that is in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) our Master"? Certainly they can...if they abandon that emunah (faith) and you will see it happen as tribulation intensifies. Believers will turn away and the ahavah (love) of Yah'shua (Jesus) will no longer be found in them. Yah'shua (Jesus) said as much in the Parable of the Sower. We have already known strong believers turn to atheism and paganism! Not all believers are alike saved. Not all endure to the end (Jas.5:11). Not all believers win the prize (1 Cor.9:24,27; Phil.3:14; Col.2:18)
Your Choice to Belöieve or Not
The elect, though, if they fall away or are deceived for a while, will always, it seems, return. But it naïve to assume that the one who gets saved and then wanders off permanently in disobedience will always be saved. I know some of you reading this won't believe me, and that's OK - you must abide by your own conscience and exercise your own free agency to believe or disbelieve. But if any Scripture contradicts what you claim to believe in, and you claim to accept the whole counsel of Elohim (God), then you must one day answer to Elohim (God) and explain what He meant, for example, when He told His apostle that there were multiple glories and resurrections!
Those Who Refuse to Bow the Knee to Baal
Throughout the history of Yahweh's people there has always been a 'remnant' or 'elect' who did not "bow the knee to Baal". There were 7,000 in the day of Elijah (1 Ki.19:18) and it may very well turn out that there is a similar number right now. There is only ever a handfull in times of great apostacy, however religious or areligious society as a whole may be. However, Yahweh has said that many more will arise, in fact, there will be 900,000 all told in the end - not "the great multitude of heaven" (Rev.19:1, NKJV) "which no one could number" (Rev.7:9, NKJV) who are the saved of all glories and resurrections. There are, moreover, many orders and subdivisions in the Remnant that include the 144,000 firstborn (consisting of both the living and the dead) and others.
The important thing in all this is as follows: those who are not Remnanters or the Electors, who are not foreknown intimately by Yahweh in this way, are absolutely not predestined to damnation in an eternal hell. That is a pernicious Calvinist lie. All have choice, all can choose salvation or damnation, many are called to high callings based on the covenants they made in the pre-existance, but not all are chosen even if they may not lose their salvation for being disobedient. I leave these thoughts with you to ponder and to probe more deeply. May the emet (truth) resonate with you and may you obtain a testimony of the whole counsel of Scripture. Amen.
 See, How the Festivals Disprove Calvinism, Are We Predestinted? Calvinism and Arminianism Compared and Why I am Not a Calvinist: Predestined a Messianic Evangelical! in the collection of articles on Free Agency
 You would be amazed at the way differend English versions of this passage mutilate this text so that is cannot infer pre-existence because in most Christian theology only Yah'shua (Jesus) is viewed as having pre-existence, and accordingly translations are often warped to fit in with such pre-conceived notions. The Jehovah's Witnesses, who notoriously bend Scripture to conform to preconceived doctrine, are often prepared to make the text unintelligible in order to guard againt anything that might contradict the position of the Watchtower Bible & Tract organisation - thus Paul is made by them to say, "because those whom he gave his first recognition he also foreordained..." (Rom.8.29a, NTW 2e).