Unconditional Election and Predestination
As discussed in Book I, of this series on Calvinism on the Total Depravity Theory, according to Augustine, man is so depraved and unable that he cannot even choose in themselves, to be saved. Therefore, God in election, preselects those who would be saved. And equally He damned those who are eternally lost. This is the philosophical brainchild of St. Augustine which was passed down to John Calvin. This philosophical theory is the heart of Calvinism.
This theory is the basis of Augustine’s doctrine of Unconditional Election and predestination. It is based on his misinterpretation of certain passages in Romans chapter 9, in particular, the account of what God said to Rebecca concerning the twin boys she carried in her womb (Jacob, being elected over Esau) v 11.
The Jacob and Esau misunderstanding, Paul’s analogy of the Potter and the vessels of honor and dishonor, are misused as models of Predestination and Election in deriving this theory.
From these and from certain other passage phrases in Romans Chapter 9, Augustine made Romans 9 the heart of the doctrine of election and predestination. Augustine high-jacked Romans 9 for his own purposes. He took the passage off its intended course, which was different from how it was meant by the author, St. Paul.
Augustine and many of the philosophers in his day, believed in and taught a secular perspective of absolute Predestination, determinism, and fatalism. These ancient philosophical concepts fit well with Augustine’s teaching that man was totally unable to do good at all, due to his totally depraved state. By this, Augustine’s aim was to show that there was nothing in man that would make him able to choose to go to heaven. Therefore, God had to choose for all of mankind, even before they were born. This is the essence and premises of the predestination theory of Calvinism.
Calvinism teaches that those selected [elected] to salvation and those predestined to reprobation had/have nothing to do with it. Neither the good, or bad they do in life can change their eternal destiny. According to Augustine and Calvin, men are predestined to their eternal designation. In this, they are referring to the final salvation or reprobation of everyone in the human race. This was philosophically dreamed up by Augustine and is presented as a theory, but has no basis anywhere in the Bible.
To support it, Augustine refer to certain passages in the Bible that read most like they are teaching his doctrine. This is how he came to Romans 9. A number of verses in Romans 9, read like they are teaching Augustine’s theory, but research proves, as we share in this book, that their true context is nowhere near what Calvinism teach. Augustine inaccurately used Romans 9 to support his philosophical theology.
Philosophical Theology builds its doctrine on philosophical theories often not consistent with the context of the scriptures it drafts. It force-fits the scriptures to its theory.
Biblical Theology, is different from ‘Philosophical Theology’; in that it accepts the context and the meanings of the scriptures. Biblical Theology focuses on what the text is actually teaching—not a theory that is foreign to the author’s intent in the passage.
In this book, I apologetically explain the meanings of all of the parts of the doctrine of Calvin’s Unconditional Election and predestination theory, in the light of the true context of Romans 9.
I discuss and give commentary, on where it came from and how it was formed. I analyze the very heart of this doctrine, [the misinterpretation of Romans 9] by sharing the background and presenting well researched and accurate expositions on each verse in Romans chapter 9. By this, I expose the true apostolic content and the true message of the [the author] Apostle Paul in the chapter. So that it can be seen whether or not this chapter [Romans 9] is really teaching the eternal reprobation or salvation of every individual in the human race, as Calvinist claims.
The main purpose of this second book on Calvinism is to show the theological world that the heart of Calvinism [Unconditional Election] is merely an unproven philosophical theory. It is not based on scripture, not even the passages in Romans 9 that they claim as their main support text.
If Calvin’s election theory is not taught in those claimed passages, then that doctrine is not true to the Bible at all. We go through this study to show that Calvinism is only philosophically based theology, not biblically based. What Calvinism teaches about election does not match nor does it agree with the Apostle’s doctrine and the messianic teaching of St. Paul so clearly explained in Romans Chapter 9.
Calvinism claims certain verses in Romans nine as its premises. The misinterpretation of Romans 9 is the core of that theory. Augustine’s doctrine of Total Depravity is the basis of it and his teachings on predestination is the heart of it. I set forth compelling evidence in the first book of this series, Book I on the Total Depravity Theory—that Calvinism is not based on the scriptures and is merely philosophical in nature.
Therefore, the doctrine of Total Depravity is a biblically unfounded assumption. Based on that, we could close the case on the entirety of Calvinism, inasmuch as it is unfounded.
But for the sake of establishing proven sound apostolic apologetics, that is, so that we will be able to explain the apostle’s doctrine on this from every angle, I apologetically breakdown and analyze the claims of Calvin’s doctrine of Unconditional Election in response to Calvinists claims about Romans Chapter 9. Because, if we can show clearly that Romans 9 does not teach Calvin’s argument of the predestination of all people in the human race, some to reprobation and others to glory, we would have taken the very heart of this mysterious teaching right out of it, or by this, openly expose that it really has no heart [truth basis] at all.
If this happens, as it does in this book, then we as Apostolic Faith theologians can tell men the true way of having the assurance of being saved from Hell. And we can also preach with confidence that we are going to Heaven because of Jesus, not based on the Esau and Jacob case.
Salvation is in being born again of the Water and the Spirit, and continuing in the Apostle’s doctrine that avoids hell and will get us to heaven. Going to Heaven is not based on a mysterious and unreasonable decree of God to send us there or to reprobate us to Hell, before we were born. Being able to explain this is the reason for us going through this study.
Objectives of Book II, Approach to this Study
1. To analyze Calvinism to find what went into it to make the doctrine of Unconditional Election/ Predestination. Further, the purpose is to explain the meanings of the main passages used in Calvinism as supposed proof-text for the doctrine of ‘Unconditional Election’, thereby proving the error and the illegitimacy of Calvinism pertaining to election and its erroneous view on predestination.
2. To compare the doctrinal points of Calvinism on Unconditional Election, to the principles of the Apostle’s teaching and the gospel itself. By exposing Paul’s true message in Romans 9 and other passages that have been illegitimately linked by the proponents of Calvinism to Romans 9. In here I discuss the question; ‘is the doctrine of Unconditional Election consistent with the teachings of the Gospel’?
3. To define what Predestination is in the Apostle’s language, mostly in the Pauline passages, because it is he [St. Paul] who is said by the Calvinist to be teaching their doctrine, in Romans, in Ephesians, and in his other epistles. We study those passages carefully, one by one, to determine if Calvinism is really taught in them.
4. To establish and show, why Predestination in the Apostle’s language is not what is taught in Calvinism, that teaches that God elects, before the foundation of the world, to send some people to eternal damnation and other individuals to eternal glory.
The Doctrine of Unconditional Election-Predestinations
Calvinism is such a complex philosophical system and there are many offspring doctrines from it. There are a number sub-doctrines related to Calvinism, like Molenism, pelagianism, semi-pelagianism, and others. There are too many of them to address all of the particulars of those related doctrines in this book. Therefore, I confine my discussion mostly in response to classical Calvinism, called Covenant Theology, that was taught as Reformed Theology during the Reformation Period. I analyze the covenantal perspective of Calvinism [Covenant Theology]. It is the common basis of the teachings of most all of the modern proponents of Calvinism today. By this I analyze the root of the doctrine.
I respond to the Calvinist doctrine of Unconditional Election by responding to the statement of Unconditional Election as it is in the Westminster Confession, as it is taught in classical Reformed Theology.
In this series, I expose the sources and the spirit behind this teaching. Then I go directly to the passages, claimed by them, to teach this doctrine in Romans 9, Romans 8, and Ephesians 1, to show how they relate to the Calvinist claims about them.
In this book, I present commentary on the most popular Calvinist phrases which are formed from their misimpressions of these scriptures. I show exactly what those passages mean in their precise contexts. I break them down sentence by sentence, verse by verse, and word by word, in search of the doctrine of Unconditional Election and predestination. I have turned over every rock looking for Calvin’s Unconditional Election and predestination doctrine and have not found it anywhere from Romans 9:1 to 9:33.
I have found no thought of the Apostle Paul’s, the author of the Book of Romans, that agree with the theories of Calvinism. In Chapters 5,6, and 7 of this book, I give commentary on a number of passages in the Bible, that are claimed to be teaching Calvin’s election theory.
Unconditional Election is a Reformed doctrine relating to predestination that describes the actions and motives of God in eternity past, before He created the world, where he predestinated some people to receive salvation, the elect, and the rest he left to continue in their sins and receive the just punishment, eternal damnation, for their transgressions of God's law as outlined in the Old and New Testament of the Bible. It is quite shocking to know that Reformed Theology [the theology of the Reformers] is rooted in Augustine’s misconception of Paul’s discourse in Romans 9.
The counter-view to Unconditional Election is conditional Election, the belief that God chooses for eternal salvation those whom He foresees will have faith in Christ in part through an act of human free will. This is an Arminian view, not exactly the Apostolic view.
History of the Doctrine of Unconditional Election and Predestination
Augustine made up the concept of individual election and introduced it to the church world for the very first time in the 4th Century, to convince the Pelagians that man had no free will, such that man had to be predestined to salvation. It was first made up and introduced when he was teaching against the doctrine of free will, that Pelagius was so widely preaching and was gaining great ground in convincing the people that they had the free will in them to choose to be saved. Pelagius’ teachings on free will not only caused the people to believe that they could use their wills to choose salvation but to also question the Catholic church’s authoritarian system, which did not recognize any individual’s free will in man in religious or political matters. It was the fear of the Catholic church that this concept would have resulted in a revolt of the people out from under Catholic rule. Because of this political crisis [crisis thoroughly explained in Book I] it was absolutely necessary for Augustine to show in the Bible, that man had no free will in him, and that due to man not having free will God had to predestine man to salvation. So, he took Romans 9, Romans 8, Ephesians 1, Gen 25:23, because of their wording, even though it was a lie, and illegitimately claimed that they were teaching his erroneous theory of unconditional election. His core aim then was to hurry up and prove that man had no free will, before, the Pelagian teaching of free will literally destroyed the authoritarian system of the Catholic Church, by the masses feeling the power to use their free wills in a political way that was threatening to the Catholic Church system.
Steven M. Baugh and other Calvinist believed that Augustine was developing Paul’s work on Romans 9. That is what the Calvinist and the secular religious world think of St. Augustine. Many esteem him higher than the Apostles, basically because they are not apostolic in their foundation and dedication. In other words, they gave Augustine a vote of confidence to take this passage out of context to teach his doctrine from it.
Objections to Augustine’s Romans Nine Theory
Common objections to Calvinism’s view of Romans 9:11:
1. Paul is simply addressing the historical destiny of Israel in its
redemptive role in Romans 9, not the eternal destinies of individuals; and
However, as I said before the proponents of Calvinism insist on seeing this passage as being related to personal salvation. They think of it in terms of personal salvation and reprobation, like as expressed by leading Calvinist; R.C. Sproul in the following writing:
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom. 8:29). - Romans 8:29–30 Jacob’s redemption, despite the chicanery with which he gained Esau’s birthright, shows that the Lord always saves sinners by grace. Yet God’s grace did not first come to Isaac’s son after his transgressions; rather, He chose to redeem Jacob long before he was born (Gen. 25:23).
Dr. R. C. Sproul’s series Chosen by God
The Doctrine of Unconditional Election is Reformed Theology
Why did Augustine and the Reformers Adopt this theory?
This theory is their [the Calvinist] theoretic alternative explanation of how men get to heaven or hell. By plugging in this theory, Calvinist are like filling in the blanks [philosophically guessing], on how men are eternally saved or lost. Having only the philosophical theology which was formed in the Fourth Century as the root of their doctrine, the Augustinian Calvinist were never exposed to the Apostle’s plan of salvation. They never had a relationship with Acts 2, Acts 10:45, Acts 19, Acts 2:38. They were not regimented in the doctrine of repentance as taught by the Apostles in the first century. They have not recognized the Acts of the Apostles as God’s intended model for them. They smothered that teaching with Augustine’s teaching that man cannot repent.
Augustine taught them [Calvinist] that man does not have what it takes to repent because he has no free will. This teaching is a total contradiction to the very core of the plan of salvation in the Apostle’s teaching which was clearly taught in the first century Apostolic era. Calvinism is a blatant, upfront, rebellion against God’s plan of salvation which was made clear by demonstration and the power of the Holy Ghost in the days of the Apostles.
The Apostles commended men everywhere to repent –Augustine argued that they can’t, in his Total Depravity –Total Inability doctrine. As I already explained in Book I, the Unconditional Election doctrine is a system which belong to the secular religious world. It is used as an escape from simply teaching men to repent and be born again of the Water and of the Spirit for their eternal life.
The Lord said it in Luke 24:47 “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem”.
Many theologians among both Catholic and Reformed, believe that Romans 9, is discussing personal predestination, in some way. This situation shows that there is truly a disconnection from Paul’s meaning of predestination in the theological world.
In Romans 9:24, Ephesians 1, and in all of the passages where Paul discusses predestination, Paul is not referring to individual’s predestination, but certainly the predestination of God’s determinate plan to redeem man and the earth from the fall in Christ through the Church.
Conclusion In this second book of the series on Calvinism, we discuss Calvin’s, doctrine of Unconditional Election and answer the question ‘is Calvin’s theory of Election, what the Apostle Paul taught’ in Romans Chapter 9? Our focus is on analyzing Romans chapter 9, since it is the chapter that Calvinist claim as the biblical premises for their doctrine of Unconditional Election. In the following chapters of this book, popular Calvinist phrases which are coined, by them based on the misinterpretation of Romans 9 are evaluated. We show that these phrases are out of context. Then we show those passage’s true context and meanings. If Romans 9, was read without the background of Calvinism, it would be easy to see what Paul’s discourse is about. A host of theologians all agree, including some Calvinist theologians, that Romans 9 is about the problem with the Jews, which was so prevalent in the days of the Apostles and is contextually unrelated to the personal reprobation or salvation of individuals.
Point of Information:
Special Definitions and Rereading Notes
Secular-Religious When I mention the term ‘Secular Religion’ in this series, I am speaking of the points of Reformed Theology, that are based on secular philosophy and paganist ideologies. It is believed that Western theology, in particular, Calvinism, is based on Augustinian philosophical theory; Of which its prime ingredients, were mostly from various secular philosophical dogmatas. This was discussed in detail in Book I, on the Total Depravity Theory. To us, secular religion comes under the guise of mainstream theological schools of thought, like Calvinism, which is not purely Bible doctrine. But it is mixed with certain pagan philosophies of this world.
Therefore, it is secular—because it is a part of the faithless secular world and its carnal ideologies. This definition of secular religion is shared by a host of theologians who all know that Calvinism is a mixture of pagan philosophy and a flawed view of the eternal salvation.
This is necessary to understand because the philosophical and secular religion of Calvinism is based on an altogether different set of standards than those that guide the biblical theology of the Apostle’s Doctrine.
Augustine, Calvin, and Romans Nine
Most people have John Calvin in mind when they discuss the Doctrine of Election. Calvin did indeed base divine election solely in God’s good pleasure (Institutes, 3.21–24), but he was not the first theologian to do so. He followed Augustine’s view of human depravity found in his writings against the British monk Pelagius in the fifth century. Pelagius taught that man was not dependent on the Lord’s Grace for salvation, but could freely choose the good in and of himself.
Augustine, on the other hand, asserted that man’s radical fallen state, makes him wholly reliant on God. Apart from Grace, no one would choose to obey his Creator, and the Lord’s grace always effects salvation in those He wills to redeem. God chose whom He would save in eternity past without reservation for their future actions or merit.
The Reformers Depended on the Philosophy of Augustine, More than the Scriptures, for their Doctrine
Historically, for their doctrine and teachings, the Calvinist [the Reformers] resorted to philosophers and pagan church fathers. They did not seek the source of true revelation which was in the Apostles.
The Reformers broke away from the apostasy filled Catholic Church in 1500’s. They left the Church but did not leave all of the apostasy which was in it. Nor did they leave their dependency on the teachings of the church fathers, many who were pagan and secular philosophers who had heavy pagan ingredients in their theological teaching.
When the Reformers left Catholicism, their prayer and search was not to refer back to the faith of the Apostles, as their models. Their faith was to the philosophical theology of the old Catholic Church fathers of the third and fourth centuries. In particular, for this teaching ‘election’ they looked to and believed in, one of the most highly revered fathers of the Church, St. Augustine. Augustine came into the Catholic Church during the Nicene Era. It was a time when apostate teachings were vogue.
It was the time in church history when the spiritual and theological compromise of paganism with Christianity was the order of the day. He came in the same century that the Council of Nicene took place [AD325]. It was AD397 when Augustine’s words were revered like scriptures. This was the time that the Reformers especially Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ullrich Zwingli and the others looked back to and adopted St. Augustine’s philosophical teachings for their doctrine. In the Reformation Period 1500-1700, they embraced and taught Augustine’s doctrine of Election as if it were the gospel truth. They by their commitment to it, Augustine’s teachings, became known as the doctrine of Reformed Theology. Thus, Calvinism is basically Augustinianism. It is interesting to note here that Martin Luther was an Augustinian Monk. However, later, it was found by John Wesley, and eventually most protestants, that Calvinism was not based on the Bible. This understanding was so prevalent among protestants that gradually, over time, it came to be, that the bulk of Protestants refute Calvinism.
Calvinism is a Theological System, based
on the Philosophy of St. Augustine
Calvinism is a theological system based on the philosophical theology of St. Augustine used to explain the personal reprobation or salvation of all men in the entire human race. It is one of the secular religious world’s main schools on the eternal salvation or damnation of all men on the earth. It replaces the simplicity of the Gospel with a complex fear stirring doctrine of predestination to an unknown destiny as opposed to being born again and having the assurance of everlasting life through Jesus Christ, as taught in the gospel of Jesus. The reason why this kind of erroneous explanation of the plan of salvation individuals was accepted by the secular religious world [Reformed theologians] was because of their lack of exposure to the plan of salvation taught and shown by the Apostles in the book of Acts; Acts 2:38, 10:45, 19:1-14, Acts 8. They were not taught to be born again of the water and of the Spirit. They were distracted from reading Acts 2:38, Being focused on St. Augustine instead of focusing on what St. Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost.
Calvin’s Election Theory is Rooted in Augustine’s Misperception of Romans Nine
Augustine’s debate with Pelagius was over whether man had free will [Pelagius’ point] or not [Augustine’s point]. Augustine argued that man’s will was in bondage to evil. Augustine argued against that, saying that man is totally unable to come. Man cannot will on his own to come. He contended that man is so unable that if it were not for the Grace of God to choose certain men to come, the whole human race would be eternally damned. God must select those who will be saved. This philosophical line of logic prompted the need for Divine Unconditional Election and predestination in Augustine’s teachings. The philosophical explanation proposed by Augustine was that God elected certain [individuals-men] to be saved and predestined them to salvation. The rest of the human race is left to go to hell [reprobation].
This prompted the theological question, on what merit or basis is the election of those who are saved and those who go to hell? To answer that Augustine reflects on his thinking about the nature of god as was viewed in the philosophical world of his day. Augustine and all other philosophers of his day saw god as fatalistic. To them god acted and moved according to his own counsel, not being accountable to man for his actions. In fatalism, everything done in the world and every motion of man is by the hand of God. Man, to them was like a puppet controlled by the actions of God. Everything and all things were predestined by God. This theory is called absolute predestination, which was like their religion of that day. Having this perception of God and his belief in the total depravity of man, Augustine mixed those two ideas to produce his election and predestination theory.
It is important to note here that this idea did not come from any Scripture in the Bible. There is no passage in the Bible that teaches this. It came from the perception of God held by the pagan-philosophical world of Augustine’s day.
Augustine Claim Romans 9 as the Basis of His Election Theory
This was new to the Church world
No church father taught this before St. Augustine taught it. He borrowed it from the ideas of philosophical paganism like; fatalism, determinism and absolute predestination. No Scripture in its correct context, taught this. So, he went to the passages in the Bible that sounded like this doctrine the most.
Election Doctrine born from the Augustinian-Pelagius Conflict
The church world which was an audience to the debate between Augustine and Pelagius, was waiting for a believable comeback from Augustine to Pelagius’ teachings on ‘free will’ and the choice that men have, on their own, to be saved. Augustine could not afford to lose this debate. Therefore, Romans 9:11 was philosophically and theologically dressed up as a personal salvation passage. He hijacked the interpretation of the chapter by misusing its verses to make God appear to be a god who is fatalistic. It was here when he misinterpreted the passage. In Augustine’s explanation of the election of Jacob over Esau [Rom 9:11], instead of him accepting the very clear context in the passage as it being relative to the Jew’s lineage being continued in Jacob, Augustine erroneously and philosophically, illegitimately in his interpretation, made Romans 9:11 relative to the reprobation and or salvation of everyone in the human race, individually.
He suggested that everyman is predestined to reprobation or salvation by the choice of a fatalistic god.
To Augustine saw Romans 9:11 as just an Allegorical Story, Not Real History of the Significance of the Jew’s Lineage as Taught by St. Paul
He ignored the true context of Romans 9:11 which was especially pertaining to the Jews and their lineage being in Jacob [Israelites] and not in Esau [the Edomites]. This true context is unrelated to the eternal salvation of all of the individuals in the human race, as Augustine and the Calvinist misread into the passage. One may ask how could he misinterpret this passage which has such a clear context. The answer is in Augustine’s perception of the scriptures. He viewed the Old Testament story of Esau and Jacob as if it was merely an allegory.
He did not view it as solid history with a meaning for the Jews as it was intended by St. Paul in his letter to the Romans. In Augustine’s proposal of his election theory, he was not governed by the rules of rightly dividing the word of truth. See Appendix A, on Reasons for Augustine’s misinterpretation of scriptures. Therefore, he begin to plug in his philosophical ideas about election in the passage’s interpretation.
Augustine was a philosopher by nature. The trait of philosophers is that they are inquisitive. They think inductively. They make assumptions. They are not likely to think that anything cannot be explained. They are not likely to obey the hermeneutical rule for biblical exegeses, that says, ‘if the scriptures are silent on an issue, then we should be silent too’. No! A philosopher will produce an explanation from their own philosophical perspective. This is what Augustine did in his doctrine of Unconditional Election.
Calvin’s Doctrine of Election is the Philosophical Proposal of Augustine
Election is a doctrinal system, that poses a theological guess at God’s Romans 9:11, plan of eternal salvation which is different from what the Apostles taught. Romans 9, sounded more like what he was teaching than any other passage in the Bible. It was easy to mix the ideas of fatalism [everything is planned and controlled by God], predestination [God predestines all events and destinies] and, the Devine sovereignty of God, in the interpretation of Romans 9:11.
These thoughts were mixed together in the interpretation of the story of Esau and Jacob, hijacking the true purpose for Paul discussing them in the passage. Forcing it to be related to the individual eternal [personal] salvation of all men.
The Saints were Already Eternally Saved from Reprobation
There was no need for a doctrine on eternal life, because the plan of salvation had already been preached, to the Church in Rome.
They preached that salvation was in Jesus Christ and not in what happened to Jacob and Esau.
Augustine should have referred to Acts 2:38, instead of Romans 9:11, to explain the Apostles’ doctrine of salvation. Augustine’s predestination theory is a form of false doctrine pertaining to individual’s salvation and reprobation that distracts men away from the true plan of salvation, shown to us in the Book of Acts.
It teaches that God had already elected those who are going to heaven and those who are going to hell, before they were born—and regardless to any good they do after they are born, their destiny is already set. This doctrine does not give an account for what impact Jesus has on the salvation of each man, born into the world.
The Unanswered Question
In this theory, Augustine never answers the question; what part does preaching repentance and remission of sin, have in election? This must be noted by all of us who preach repentance and remissions of sins, because this part of Augustine’s doctrine is the part that is used by Satan to go against the preaching of repentance. It is because this doctrine subliminally suggest that no man can repent and be saved—hence they are only saved by an arbitrary pre-selection [election] by God which has no known basis. By this we show that the doctrine of predestination is anti-gospel, anti-preaching, anti-repentance and thus, it is anti-apostolic.
This is the reason that during much of the Reformation Period, before the Armenians came, who believed in free will, the Reformers did not make altar calls.
free will. Not making altar calls is more practical
to Augustine’s predestination theory.
Augustine’s purpose was not pastoral or evangelical. But rather philosophical, to win a debate. In making this doctrine Augustine theorized as one of the world’s greatest Western philosophers and theologians. He was highly revered and could influence the minds of theologians and philosophers for years to come. He was in the position to spread his contaminating doctrine that would stain western thought until Jesus comes. And that is exactly what happened in his making of his philosophical guess [doctrine of Unconditional Election-predestination].
It is one of the major erroneous alternative to the plan of salvation. It deviated from the plan of salvation which was repentance and being born of the Water and the Spirit, which was taught by the Apostles in the Book of Acts.
As Apostolics, we must stand back and look at the Unconditional Election doctrine and see that it is one of the most dangerous anti-salvation proposed alternatives to the real plan of salvation [Acts 2:38] in the history of Christianity. Augustine’s theory is actually, the secular religious world’s doctrine of salvation. It is recognized as mainstream Reformed Theology.
The Doctrine of Predestination is a Doctrine Not Adequately Scrutinized by Calvinist
Most Calvinist have not researched on their own pertaining to this dogma. They are like parrot birds, that quote Augustine and Calvin. They are not taught to go any further back in history than to the philosophy of Augustine, in their studies, to find God’s true plan of salvation. They do not seek to know, for the risk of finding out that they and all of those who they have misled with this, need to repent and be born again of the Water and the Spirit. And they can repent and be born again of the Water and the Spirit, despite of the pagan teachings in Augustine’s doctrine, that man can’t [man is unable] to repent and come to God on his own, Calvinism.
We should look to the Apostles, not to Augustine
If Augustine, the Reformers, and the Calvinist, were looking for the real plan for the eternal salvation of man, they need to look in the right place for it. The reason why they have not found it yet, is they are looking in the wrong place. They are looking to the philosophical-theology of St. Augustine. They can’t find it there. They must look to the Apostles in the Book of Acts, they will find it there. It is good for us, as Apostolic Faith believers to know the history and the origin of this doctrine. It will help us to see why they misuse passages the way they do to support it. It also shows that the Apostle’s Doctrine is true and sound.
Augustine’s Anti-Semitic Philosophy, Slants His Perception of Romans Nine
Reformed Theologians [Calvinist] are not informed on the Israelology [the study of Israel’s promises] revealed in the scriptures. Unfortunately, in the absence of a viable Scripturally based Israelology doctrine in their seminaries they are all too often inclined to slip-slide into Augustine and Origen's Replacement Theology, which says that the Church has replaced (and displaced) Israel, forever. This is the basis of Reformed Theology. It is because of this deep and erroneous concept that Augustine could not see the true meaning of the Jacob and Esau situation as being strictly pertaining to the Jews, not related to New Testament salvation or the reprobation of individuals.
Replacement Theology is dripping with Jewish blood. It has thrown up a series of murderous anti-Semitic histories. And it has gone on for 1700 years. The church has not renounced this doctrine, as it should have. Nor has it apologized for this long history of church sponsored antisemitism. This thinking, was the incubator that cultured the campaign of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party. It molded the anti-Semitism of Europe and its effect was seen and heard even in the Reformed seminaries, where they taught, both subliminally and overtly, anti-Semitic sentiments.
Replacement Theology is also linked to Dominion Theology. This is a church-state jingoism that says that the Church in league with her military and merchant champions is destined to take over the world. This is partly taught in the new doctrine of the Seven Mountains. History has witnessed the church sponsored Crusades, the Spanish Inquisitions and the Pogroms of eastern Europe. Anti-Semitic elements have also energized much of the latter day raging of nations both of right wing nationalism and left-wing socialism. This bloody doctrine of Replacement Theology has installed itself in western Christendom and amazingly it is still there, even as the pagan gargoyles are still perched on the church roof of the old cathedrals. No one seems to notice. It needs to be taken down! It needs to be renounced ASAP! Endtimespilgrum.org/Israel
Augustine’s Anti-Semitism Influenced His Doctrine
Augustine believed that the Jews should not be allowed to thrive. They have nothing good coming to them. They are like Cain who killed his brother. The Jews killed Jesus. Because of this, in essence, he taught the reformers, in his writings, that the Jews were through. It is safe to say that Augustine was one of the main fathers of anti-Semitism in the Western World. He greatly influenced the traditional thinking of the ‘Christian mind in Western Europe causing the Reformers to be theologically anti-Semitic, especially Martin Luther of Germany who was an Augustinian Monk, to have an anti-sematic philosophy, which was spread by him in Germany. Its influence lingered in Germany even up to the time of Adolph Hitler. It sure makes one to wonder if WW II was actually prompted, provoked and incited by these two infamous religious leaders? Hitler, was a Lutheran, ….he even claimed to be born again. He read Luther's writings, and claimed to carry out God's will of exterminating the Jewish race.
Antisemitism’s effect on theology is seen in Calvinism. It is seen in how Augustine refused to agree with the scripture concerning the Jews in Romans 9, such that he shoved pass the Apostle Paul’s messianic message about the Jews, in the passage, and force-fitted his doctrine of Unconditional Election there instead, Romans 9:11.
Calvinist have a Long History of taking Passages Out of Context, Dating Back to Saint Augustine
In their expositions and commentaries, leading Calvinist scholars like R.C. Sproul, A.W. Pink, and especially John Piper, have engaged in the practice of writing totally out of context, about Calvin’s Unconditional Election theory, from Romans 9. Even though they are scholars and should know the true context and message of Romans 9; they weave around the true context and use philosophical filibustering to insist on Calvinism in the passage. Romans the 9th chapter, is a very thorough and concept-rich discourse about the Jews’ lineage, their patriarchs, and God’s overarching plan for them up to and including their millennial reign with Christ. As William Barclay puts it “Romans is written to deal with the problem of the Jews” Augustine and Calvin took advantage of the fact that people don’t know how to read the Book of Romans, to see that it is to the church in Rome, written chiefly about the Jews. The Jewish issue was one of the biggest problem in the first century church. Conversion and the doctrine of the plan of salvation was no real problem and was no mystery to the saints in the apostolic era. The doctrine of salvation was well known among the saints. Thus, in Romans 9 Paul is not addressing the question of how men get eternal life. That was not the issue nor the point Paul was making in Romans 9:11. But rather it was answering the questions of the Jews concerning their lineage.
This is why, in Romans 9, Paul went back into Jewish history in his discourse. It was to answer their questions from their own history and legacy.
Replacement Theology Created Covenant Theology
The root of Replacement Theology is in the theological and philosophical trodding on the Jews [Luke 21:24]. Adolph Hitler’s and the other Gentile world power’s campaigns were military efforts against Israel. However, Augustinism’s campaign is philosophical and theological. They seek to erase Israel’s purpose and place out of the Bible.
The Birth of Covenant Theology
It is because this is impossible to do they, Augustine explained that all the promises, God’s special covenants, even all of the dispensations were all merged into or fulfilled in two replacement covenants; The Covenant of Worked and the Covenant of Redemption and Grace. This is the essence of Covenant theology. This is the standard of interpretation used in the Reformed Theology of Calvinism.
The effect of Covenant Theology on their hermeneutics is it bypasses any scriptures that deal with Israel. All the promises God made to Israel have been repossessed and given to the Church. Even the main and major promises God made to Israel are cancelled and transferred to the Church, like the Millennial Reign of Christ with the Jews on the earth. The nearly 400 scripture references to the Millennial reign of Christ with the Jews, have been over-spiritualized and erroneously allegorized to be no longer about the Jews. But rather, those promises are pertaining to the Church in the Covenant of Grace.
This is the theological basis for the Calvinist misinterpreting passages that are pertaining to the Jews, where the Jews are called the elect, they are misapplied to Calvin’s predestined elect. Therefore, Romans 9:11 is seen by them as teaching eternal salvation and reprobation, rather than only being about the continued purpose of God in the lineage of the Jews through Jacob. They have cancelled any promises of lineage pertaining to Israel. In Replacement Theology, they over-spiritualize by allegorical thinking; it to be pertaining to the Covenant of Grace which is the second covenant in Covenant Theology.
According to Augustine and Calvin, the Covenant of Redemption and Grace [second covenant of Augustinian-Covenant Theology] fulfills the essence of all the other covenants and dispensational promises in the Bible. They are fulfilled all in and through the Church. This even effects their belief in the rapture. Because they don’t see the Tribulation Period as the time of Jacob’s trouble. So, there is no reason to escape it via the catching away, because it is all about the Covenant of Grace and redemption in Covenant and Replacement Theology, upon which Calvinism is based. Here are a few messianic passages that were perceived incorrectly as being pertaining to New Testament sainthood matters, from the worldview of Covenant and Replacement theology; are Romans 9, St. John 10, St. John 6.
Covenant Theology from an Apostolic Perspective
Those of us who are in the truth and who know God’s plan for Israel and His plan for the church and the clearly taught distinction between those two plans, can see right through this doctrine. Paul said there would be seducing spirits and doctrines of devils I Tim 4:1. That is exactly what Replacement Theology is. It is against every vital part of the Apostle’s Doctrine. It is against the doctrine of repentance and being born again by being filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues, because everything in the Bible becomes about personal salvation methodology including the election of Jacob over Esau. It is designed to refer to Esau and Jacob instead of being born again of the Water and the Spirit. It is against all that God promised to Israel as a people [see Appendix B].
The Apostles taught the Word of God in the light of the dispensations and Devine timeline for the events of the Church and Israel’s history and future. Therefore, the Apostolic Faith sees things from a dispensational perspective. By this, we rightly divide the word of truth.
Calvinist Myths, claimed to be taught in Romans Nine
The myths of Calvinism are the mendacities of their misinterpretation of Romans 9 through the lens of Covenant-Replacement Theology. These erroneous claims can be easily seen and pointed out as erroneous, by most sincere Bible students, if they read those passages honestly. This is true and evidenced by the work of a number of scholars. There are a number of scholars who have noticed these inaccurate claims and have researched the context of Romans 9:11 to see if these claims were in anyway valid. Most all of them concluded that these myths are nowhere near the context of that passage.
Scholars who Refute Calvin’s Unconditional Election Theory
A few of them who legitimately refute the Myths of Calvinism which are erroneously taught by the Calvinist from Romans 9 are; Adrian Rodgers, a prolific Bible scholar who is well known and received in the theological community, Hank Hanagraph, an apologist and Bible teacher, the walking Bible, Elder Johnny James, David Bernard, author, K.C.H. Lenski, C. S. Lewis, known as the world’s greatest apologist. A. W. Tozer, ft. William Most, Catholic theologian, Chuck Smith, Howard Hendrick, J. Vernon Mc Gee, Warren Wiersbe, David Norris, James A. Johnson, Earl Parchia, R. P. Paddock, G. T. Haywood, R. C. Lawson, and a host of other honest and erudite biblical theologians that interpret scriptures contextually. These all are biblical theologians. The Calvinist are philosophical theologians who view the passage from the eyes of St. Augustine’s philosophy, not correct biblical analysis, as I have already explained the difference between the two, in Book I.
Proponents of Calvinist Myths
The plan is universal, eternal, and corporate. Because many theologians have been trained in mainstream covenant theological seminaries they have been trained from day one to think along the lines of the theories of Replacement-Covenant Theology. It is from this thinking that the theories of Calvinism came. Some of the main Calvinist who teach these myths are; C. J. Mahaney, Carl F. H. Henry, Charles Spurgeon, Don Carson, James Petigru Boyce, James White (theologian), John F. MacArthur, John Gill (theologian), John L. Dagg, John Piper (theologian), Joshua Harris, Leonhard Euler, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Wayne Grudem, William Carey and others.
Calvinist Myths about Romans Nine
The following list of myths are alluded to, hinted, and straight forth taught, by Calvinist ministers and teachers. They are the Calvinist impressions of Romans 9:11.
1. Some people are destined to go to heaven and there is nothing anyone can do to change that destiny, not even the sinfulness of that individual can change it vs 21-24, v 11.
2.Man is so bad that he is unable to choose to be saved, therefore, his condition necessitates God’s making the choice in election and predestination, of a select few to be saved, while the others are passed by, resulting in their eternal reprobation v 11, vs 21-24.
3.God loves the elect so much as to send them to heaven. [Jacob have I loved] Mal 1:3, Romans 9:13, in covenant theology this is pertaining to their personal salvation.
4. God hates the reprobated and sends them to hell. [Esau have I hated] Mal 1:3, Romans 9:13
5. Among the entire human race, there is a group who are ‘the elect’. Vs 21-24
6. The story of Esau and Jacob is about what happens in election and predestination in the case of personal [New Testament] salvation. Romans 9:11
7. The story of Jacob and Esau is a figure of our own election, to heaven or to reprobation. Romans 9:11
All of these Myths are explained in this Series
These myths came from Augustine not St. Paul! These myths have their roots in Augustine’s teachings that were explicit in his writings, like in his treatise on ‘The Predestination of the Saints’
This work contains Augustine’s early discussion of the doctrine of gratuitous election to salvation “ante praevisa merita”, of election without regard to foreseen co-operation or merits.
It was in that work in which he pondered why Jacob was elected and Esau reprobated when they were nowise different; he considered possible solutions and concluded that it was due simply to the will of God with no reason in the brothers. This is, of course, he thought, is a figure of our own election or reprobation. In this work, Augustine taught that grace is congruous to the recipient by giving him delight. God calls his elect in the manner that will produce their consent (Ch. 13); he could effectually call all but has opted not to (Ch. 14); he gives the elect a delight in those things by which they advance to him and gives them the assent, earnest effort and the power to do good (Ch. 21).
This was Augustine’s first literary production after becoming bishop of Hippo and was written about in AD396 in response to divers questions put to him by Simplician, his student.
It contains the essential features that he would have to defend against Pelagianism for the rest of his life; his ultimate exposition of the matter is contained in his final, twofold book called, The Predestination of the Saints and The Gift of Perseverance.
What does Jacob have to do with Salvation, and what does Esau have to do with Reprobation?
I would agree with Calvinists, to the ideas that God is just in choosing as He wishes to, as in the cases of Jacob over Esau, Sarah over Hagar, Isaac over Ishmael. But where they error is by equating God’s choosing as illustrated in Romans 9 with individual personal salvation.
Erroneously thinking, in the Calvinist mindset, Isaac and Jacob represent individuals who are elected by God, and Ishmael and Esau represent those who are rejected (reprobate). Employing that assumption, the Calvinist attempt to build something along the lines of, “God chose Jacob over Esau prior to their even being born! This demonstrates that God unconditionally chooses which people He wants to save.”
The Lucky Elect in the Gospel of Calvinism
In short, they see the difference between Jacob and Esau as being directly analogous to the difference between one who is elected by God and one who is rejected, in eternal salvation. The way they cover this ungodly suggestion is by teaching an emphasis on celebrating the privilege of being in the elect. The celebration of Calvinism is in the gospel of an individual being lucky enough to be elected. Piper, MacArthur, Sproul, Pink, and other leading Calvinist drive this point, as if it were a cancelation prize for God’s unreasonable choice of sending most people to hell regardless to their merit. They celebrate this point [lucky to be elected] in an effort to account for the unbiblical and pagan doctrine of ancient philosophical fatalism in Calvin’s election theory.
They say it is the Grace of God that one is lucky enough to have been elected. This is why, this teaching is called Augustine’s Doctrine of Grace.
No need for a Discourse on how to Go to Heaven, in Romans Nine
In Romans 9 the matter of the eternal reprobation or salvation, of Individuals, was not Paul’s aim. The saints in Rome to whom he wrote, were already clear on how they were eternally saved. Therefore, there is absolutely no logical, theological, or hermeneutical reason why Paul would be discussing a new doctrine on eternal damnation or salvation, in his discourse in Romans Chapter 9. How to be saved was not their concern, they already were saved.
The saints in Rome were already saved and were well taught by the Apostle Paul that they had eternal life already. That being the case, why would Paul interrupt his discourse on the Jews and their position, and their place in relationship to their promises and the Gentile saints, to go off into a deep and mystical discussion about the eternal destinies of the human race? Why would he present a doctrine of salvation and damnation not taught to them before that point? I ask this to show the nonsense of the claim of the Calvinist, that Paul is teaching salvation and or reprobation in Romans 9:11.
The Saints in Rome were Born Again Believers Who were not confused about their Eternal Salvation
The original saints in Rome were saved at Pentecost. They traveled to Rome to preach the gospel and to get others saved. Most historians almost know it was started about AD33 right after the birth of the church at Jerusalem on Pentecost. The church in Rome, to which this epistle was written was an offspring of the mother church in Jerusalem. By the time this epistle was written, and sent to the church in Rome, they had already been well indoctrinated on how to get to heaven and how to avoid hell. Both were through the gospel.
Calvin’s Theory of Election was not heard of by
AD 58 when Romans was written. And would have been refuted by those saints who were taught by Paul that they had eternal life already.
In AD 58 when this epistle was sent to them, there was no need for the Apostle to come to them with something new or different from what they had been taught about eternal salvation. According to Romans 6:1-5, and the surrounding evidence in the scriptures and the research done by erudite church historians; being converted included being baptized in Jesus name and being filled with the Holy Ghost. This is agreed to by most church historians like; F.F. Bruce, Beltmen even Bart Erdmann, these and a host of other scholars agree that baptism and Spiritual regeneration was the Apostolic method of conversion into the church and the venue of eternal life. The first century saints did not refer back to the patriarchal period of Esau and Jacob to understand eternal salvation.
Being Born Again of the Water and of the Spirit is the way to get to heaven and to Miss going to Hell
The Apostles practiced [acted it out] baptism and Spiritual regeneration [receiving the Holy Ghost] in all of their conversions, in the Book of Acts. They showed us nothing different. This was all settled as Apostolic Doctrine in AD 58, when the book of Romans was written. The Church in Rome was 25 years old when this letter came to them.
If Augustine’s theory was true to what Paul was saying in Romans 9, ‘and we know it is not’, God’s method of saving or damning the whole human race[election], why did Paul wait so long to tell them? Why didn’t Peter inform them at Pentecost, Acts 2:38, [election and predestination]?
Why didn’t Peter say to them, on the Day of Pentecost that; even though you are baptized into Christ and have been filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues, as God gave you utterance, you may not be saved if you were not predestined or in the elect. No! This is not what Paul is saying in Romans 9,
He would not contradict the gospel and its ya ya ness, with its sure and certain promise of eternal life, to all that believe—to jam his message up with the darkness of Calvinism’s spooky election theory. Math 5:37
When the Apostle Paul closed his eyes in death, the ninth chapter of Romans was about the Jews, answering the questions pertaining to corporate Israel, as a nation, as a people, as a group, and not referring to individuals [the whole human race] pertaining to their conversion or eternal destiny to heaven or hell, as is mistakenly taught in Calvinism.
And that is still the message of Romans 9. Augustine could not have developed the word of God in Paul’s writings, as the Calvinist say he was doing, when he tampered with this passage, by associating it with the fatalism of the ancient pagan world, guised as election and predestination.
The fatalism of Calvinism is not fitting to the passage’s context and it is not what the Holy Spirit through Paul was teaching in Romans 9. Not even what he said about Israel and the list of examples he pointed out from their history, in his discourse throughout the chapter [Romans 9] were pertaining to their eternal destinies.
The immediate context of Romans 9 is about Israel’s corporate destiny relative to their promises, their covenants, their coming corporate remnant conversion, and their coming Messiah, [vs 24-26] it was also about their Millennial reign with Christ on the earth. It is not pertaining to the reprobation or salvation of individuals.
Augustinian-Calvinist Doctrine Resisted the Messianic Messages in Paul’s Discourse in Romans Nine
The entire chapter [passage] is underwritten and is backgrounded by these things just mentioned here. They [the things Paul taught] are not pertaining to Israel’s corporate eternal destiny to Heaven or Hell. Nor are his teachings pertaining to the individual Israelites nor Jews’ corporate destiny to Heaven or Hell like Calvinist teach; via the theory of a fatalistic selection and predestination by a god blind to merit. What I am saying is, that eternal salvation is not the topic at all, not even pertaining to Israel, who the chapter is about—it’s not about their eternal salvation or reprobation, individually or corporately.
That is not in the passage or even in the entire Book of Romans, at all. In Romans 9, Paul was updating the Jews and everyone else, and reminding the Jews that they had a specific itinerary, agenda, route that they by their own rejection of the Lord Jesus, must now travel. This means they have to pass this way causing them to wonder ‘has God casted us away?’
The Plight of the Jews, the Vessels Fit for Destruction
That route included them passing through The Church Age then through the Tribulation Period being blinded and as outcast from being God’s chosen and mainstream people. This is all in the sovereignty of God’s leading up to His ultimate place for His chosen people [the true remnant of Israel]. Though they were blinded and traveling on that route they were still in God’s hand.
Reasons Why Augustine Misunderstood Romans Nine
(1)Augustine could not read the Greek that Romans 9 was written in, his western background only included Latin. Therefore, his ability to grasp the true sense of Romans 9 and thereby get a real understanding of the passage, was not probable to be as accurate as the eastern brethren of the Eastern Orthodox Church was. They read it, as it was written, in their own language, [Greek] and disagreed with what Augustine was teaching from the passage. Because of this Augustine could not see the real meanings of Paul’s discourse in Romans 9, because of the Greek that it was written in. This is called by apostolic theologians Augustine’s Literary Handicap.
(2) His allegorical thinking and method of interpretation, hindered him from sensing the true essence of the Apostle’s message in the passage. He, Origen and others, who were in that school of thinking, saw the story of Esau and Jacob, and the birthright, and the other patriarch accounts, as allegories, not real biblical history that had context boundaries. He did not know about rightly dividing the scriptures according to dispensations. By this, he failed to notice, that in the patriarchal-period of the Torah there was no teachings on personal salvation.
God’s Plan for personal salvation was reserved by God until Jesus came. There are no prototypes of personal salvation in the Old Testament’s Dispensation of Promise, wherein the election of Jacob happened. This critical lack of understanding of the Old Testament, confused his interpretation of Romans 9, entirely. This to him was a license to say whatever he wanted to say. He took this convenience to inject his theory of election from the Esau and Jacob scenario Gen 25:23.
It is the strong belief of many scholars, including myself, that Augustine was not sincere, nor was he honest with the passage by using such an unreliable method of interpretation [allegorical interpretation] to interpret this passage Roman9. It seems clear that he was more interested in defeating Pelagius than he was in finding out the truth about the plan of salvation for the human race. If he was looking for that, he would have gone to the Book of Acts and found it right away.
(3) Augustine could not see that in the entire chapter Paul is piecing together the entire panoramic layout of Israel’s corporate place and their future destiny; The fact that Israel as a nation, will one day be saved, is vitally linked to, and included in, Paul’s discussion in Romans 9:25-27.
Their promises include them going into, and possessing, their promised land, ‘Jerusalem’ during the Millennial, in a real glory on earth situation with the physical Messiah; the Lord. see Appendix B, on the Messianic Promise
This is one of the main points of the Apostle’s three chapter [9, 10, 11] discourse on Israel’s destiny. This is the earthly hope of Israel. This is not only in the mind of the Jews as if they made it up themselves. No! They did not just make this up, but it is a promise God made to them through their fathers Romans 11: These promises were made to them in their covenants i.e. the Palestinian, the Abrahamic, and the Davidic covenants. And proclaimed by their prophets repeatedly. see Appendix B.
They are the earthly branch of God’s chosen people. Augustine could not accept this. His opinion of them was that they should not be allowed to thrive in the world and that they will never be anything in the world.
(4) Augustine did not believe in the Millennial Reign of Christ with the Jews
Augustine believed that Israel lost the rights to what God promised them. He believed that the Catholic Church was to be the recipient of those promises. He believed that the Jews were in the same situation that Cain was who killed his brother and were to be vagabonds on the earth forever. He taught that they are penalized because they killed Jesus. This deep anti-Jew philosophy contradicted any messianic gospel Paul was teaching in Romans 9: 11-14 and v 24-26. Appendix B
With that mindset, Augustine could not have had the pulse of Paul on this matter because he [Augustine] did not believe in the Millennial as the Word of God describes it and Paul taught it. He saw the Millennial as the Catholic Church taking over the world and everyone being a part of a Catholic utopia. By this, he was not on the same page that the Apostle Paul was concerning the Jews, in Romans 9. In Romans 9:25-27, Paul was teaching a coming real Millennial with Christ and the Jews restored back to the promise land.
Augustine being a bishop-theologian and a secular philosopher often conflicted his theology with his philosophy where one of them [theology Philosophy] had to suffer for the sake of the other. In the Doctrine of Unconditional Election, the truth of the Gospel of the Millennial reign of the Jews with Christ, taught in Romans 9, was thrown out, by Augustine, to make way for his philosophical and unbiblical doctrine of predestination, to be taught from the very verse where Paul is teaching on the promises of the Jews in the coming Millennial reign of them with Christ. [Romans 9:11, Romans 9:21-26].
Augustine Introduces Amillennialism to the Western World which teaches against the Millennial Reign of Christ with the Jews
Augustine played like he didn’t understand Paul concerning the Millennial. However, he simply did not believe in it. Whether intentional or from plain ignorance Augustine sabotaged the glorious explanation given by St. Paul of the Jews place and God’s agenda for them. He did this by avoiding it, throwing it out of the way and /or ignoring it, for some anti-Semitic force, known or unknown to Augustine.
(5) Augustine ignored the Context about the Jews, Replacing it with His Theory of the Election and Predistination
He resisted the true context which contained the supremely important message about the Jews, that was in the passage, by replacing it. In all of this, Augustine influenced the thinking of Western secular religion and Western philosophical thinking. Augustine took the attention of the world off of the true context of Romans 9, about the plan of God in the Jews. He did this by philosophically and theologically filibustering it out. He then plugged his election theory in its place—instead of studying Paul’s mind in the passage Romans 9. He forced his own hellish and false doctrine of the election and predestination of individuals, which was his own erroneous theory, not St. Paul’s in to the passage’s interpretation.
Three hundred and thirty-nine years after St. Paul, came Augustine saying, Paul was teaching a plan of salvation that was like something God did under the table. A dark secret predestination of a few to Heaven and the rest by default, go to Hell. If he had presented that to Paul and the rest of the saints in AD58, they would have rightfully declared that doctrine anathema.
The spirit of arrogances that seems to be the character of the Gnostics and the philosophers of that genre, was very present in Augustine, who was the main author and mixer of paganism into theology in the western world, through both the Protestant and the Catholic Church. He brought paganism into Catholicism by mixing paganism in to the Catholic Churches catechisms, such that he is recognized as the greatest Catholic Doctor and father of Catholicism. He also influenced Protestantism by his philosophy in Calvinism. And so, the reformers received this doctrine from Augustine, not the Bible.
The Reformers Revered St. Augustine Greater than they did the Apostles
The Western world viewed/views him as being just as authoritative as the Apostle Paul, and even the Bible itself. He took that power to mean that he had the insight or authority to overwrite what the Apostle Paul taught in Romans 9 and inject his own philosophy of election into the interpretation of this passage. Such doctrine is totally foreign to the Apostles’ doctrine on the matter of salvation.
In Romans 9:11, Augustine Develops St. Paul’s Thoughts, they Say— is that Really True?
Some of the secular religious Calvinist say that in Romans 9, Augustine is developing St. Paul’s thought. In other words, Augustine finishes saying what Paul was trying to say. That is vain to place St. Augustine a secular theologian on the same level with the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul didn’t need any help from the philosophy of Augustine, to say what he has said. All scripture is given by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Augustine did not know Paul personally, nor did he have insight into the Gospel that Paul preached. If Augustine had known the gospel that Paul preached, he would have never introduced this unapostolic teaching on election to the Western Religious World.
Conclusion The doctrine of Unconditional Election is the philosophy of St. Augustine. Many people come to Romans 9 with the thought of the election of souls to Heaven and or Hell. They received this from St. Augustine because he is/was highly revered as a great church father who had a keen insight into both philosophy and theology. Later most Protestant theologians found that not to be what Romans 9 is about, such that, the bulk of Protestants today, refute Calvinism.
Election and Predestination of Jacob
That the purpose of the Election might stand Romans 9:11
And the LORD said unto her, two nations are in thy womb, and two manners of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. Gen.25:32
The Calvinist’s misinterpretation and view of the twenty-fifth chapter of Genesis, as quoted by the Apostle Paul in Romans 9:11, is the heart and root of the doctrine of Unconditional Election.
It is from their misreading of this passage, that they guess; if God predestined, chose, elected Jacob over Esau before they were born, to an unchangeable destiny, then the same must be true about God selecting individuals to go to Heaven or to Hell, (God electing them before they are born).
They figured, just like the destinies of Jacob and Esau that the eternal destiny of each individual in the world is unchangeable too. This is the root-premises of the Unconditional Election doctrine.
In this chapter, I present well researched and valid reasons why we can safety say that this doctrine is; unbiblical, not the context of the passage, hermeneutically inaccurate, and is only based on philosophical theory which is not found in the scripture.
In this Chapter, I Present the Discussion of Five Points: Reasons why Calvin’s Unconditional Election doctrine, is not what Gen 25:23 is teaching:
3. The covenants, promises and revelations from God to the patriarchs, in that era, did not include knowledge of personal eternal salvation. Thus, a discussion of individuals being predestined to Heaven or to Hell was not within the scope of the degree of their revelation, nor God’s intended message to Rebecca.
4. The Message given to Rebecca in Genesis 25:23, was not pertaining to the whole world then. It was exclusive to the Hebrews, Abraham’s seed. It was strictly relative to the continuation of the lineage of Abraham to Jesus via the line of Jacob.
5. The passage-story is about the history of the patriarchs and their place in the purpose of God as the fathers [Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob] of the chosen people, Israel.
By presenting these five points, I intend to make it clear that Genesis 25:23 is not referring to the personal salvation or reprobation of individuals. Nor is it a template for God’s election of individuals to personal salvation or reprobation, as erroneously taught in Calvinism.
Chapter Objective: To answer the following questions and to articulate an answer to the main question: Is Genesis 25:23-26 teaching about the eternal salvation or reprobation of all of the individual people in the whole human race? Is that thought even applicable to this passage in any way?
1. What is meant by ‘the purpose of God according to the election’ in Romans 9: 11? Is it about individual salvation?
2.Did God mention anything to Rebecca about Esau going to Hell, or Jacob going to heaven in the passage?
3. The events of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob mentioned in Romans 9, took place in the Dispensation of Promise; were they events that taught personal salvation as prototypes of God’s plan for the eternal salvation or reprobation of all the individuals in the human race?
4. Is it hermeneutically accurate, to categorize these passages [Romans 9:11 and Gen 25:23] as personal salvation passages, pertaining to the eternal destinies of all individuals?
5. During his earthly ministry, did Jesus say anything about the Esau and Jacob scenario, that would tell us that we have already been predestined to Heaven or Hell before we were born?
6. Is the reference to Jacob and Esau, about them personally as pertaining to them as individuals, or was it about them as nations born to the patriarchal family of Abraham and Isaac?
7. What nation was born out of the election of Jacob [Rebeca’s womb, Gen 25:23, Romans 9:11]?
8. What was significant about Jacob’s election?
Essence of the Unconditional Election Doctrine
Calvinist perspective: This passage was taken out of its context by St. Augustine, to be a proof-text that taught that man was so badly damaged by the fall of Adam [Augustine’s doctrine of original sin], that he is in a state of Total Depravity.
This doctrine holds that because of his depraved state, man does not have the will to choose good nor to choose to be saved from eternal reprobation. God seeing this Total Depravity decided that He was going to fix the whole thing, by choosing salvation or reprobation for everyman, before they are born. Thus, He predestines some men to Heaven and some to Hell, before they are born. This is the essence of Augustinian-Calvinism’s concept of Predestination.
This is what they erroneously claim is taught from Romans 9:11 as Paul quotes from Genesis 25 32. Genesis 25:23 is very vulnerable to the misinterpretation of Calvinists, because on the surface, without research, its wording sounds like its teaching Calvin’s Unconditional Election and Predestination Theory. That’s why Augustine misused it, to forge biblical support for his erroneous doctrine of predestination, that the pagan minded fatalist and the Christian thinker would both buy into. What Calvinists mistakenly think about this passage, is that this must be the way God chooses man to be saved because they cannot come to God on their own free will. According to Calvin, man is Totally Depraved, and therefore, unable to choose to come, on his own, due to his fallen state [Augustine’s Original Sin Theory].
The main point of the argument of the Calvinist is that man has no free will.
Therefore, the Calvinist use the predestination theory to answer the question; having no free will and thus, being totally depraved, how do men who are saved, get saved? The philosophical assumption presumed in answering that question is; that there has to be something done in man or on behalf of man to save him, since he has no free will. Out of this dilemma, the concept of election and predestination was made and placed by Augustine into philosophical theology.
If Romans 9:11 and Genesis 25:23 are not about the Predestination of Individuals, then the Doctrine of Unconditional Election is a Heresy
This was the philosophical concoction of St. Augustine when he was under pressure to explain how his doctrine of original sin and the inability of man worked in how men are saved from reprobation. To answer that, Augustine illegitimately referred to Genesis 25:23, which is unrelated to personal salvation in that respect. He illicitly claimed that his theory is taught in that passage. However, any honest Bible student can very clearly see that this passage is not pertaining to that at all. Calvinists don’t want to hear that; because uncovering that fact is detrimental and lethal to the very core of Calvinism’s Election and Predestination Doctrine . Because if God is not speaking about the eternal destinies of the whole human race, some to salvation and the others to reprobation, in this passage [Gen 25:31], then their doctrine is false. And too the very popular yet erroneous doctrine of Unconditional Eternal Security is false also, since the very core of that doctrine is claimed to be taught from this passage too. And as when we get to the book on that doctrine we will discuss how either the doctrine of unconditional eternal security is a great blessing, or it is one of the greatest deceptions in modern theology.
The Apostolic Response to the Calvinist Perspective of Romans Chapter Nine
The Predestination of Jacob is not Teaching, nor is it an example of the Predestination of the Whole Human Race, on a person by person basis, to Eternal Salvation or Reprobation. It is a Jewish only related passage of which its message is great and only related to the lineage of the Jews coming from Abraham to Isaac, then to Jacob, Paul was referring to it because he was trying to make a point to the Jews in Rome in AD58 relative to their lineage, totally unrelated to anyone’s eternal destiny.
Augustin’s philosophy, Fogged the Church World’s View of true Revelation
Before Augustine [AD 33-380], the church viewed the passage just as it is explained here in this book. It can only be seen that way without the distraction of Augustine’s philosophical theories blocking our view of Paul’s meaning in the passage. If we read this passage without the distracting delusion of the mystical doom of Calvinism looming in the background, it is clear as day what the Apostle is saying in Romans 9, as he refers to Gen 25:23.
He is actually teaching the gospel of the coming Messiah through the generations of Abraham, Isaac, and then Jacob. God’s announcement to Rebecca, that two nations were in her womb, one being the nation through which the Messiah will come, was extremely significate. It was significant to her to know what God was doing in her for the sake of His purpose. In this, she was like Mary, Hannah, and Elizabeth, who all bore special sons, that had very special purposes in the overarching plan of God. None of these births were foretold of for the sake of marking their individual eternal destinies, they were told of because of the special places in the purpose of God in His overall plan. This is not hard to see by sincere and spirit filled bible students. This point is only debated, and not very well, by those who are of the secular religious world of Calvinism and the likes of that very gnostic system.
The Lineage of Abraham Continued in Jacob
It was a vital part of the continuity of the plan of God, down through the lions of Abraham. The message was pertaining to where in the patriarchal line-up, her son(s) would be positioned and how that positioning is vital to God’s planned final objective, for Israel. The birth of the child of promise, Jacob, was in the plan of the lineage of Abraham. This lineage goes all the way to Jesus. It is the line that comes down from Adam through Abraham. It is the seed of the earth-blesser. Through they seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 11:18
Earthly Nature of Messianic Promise
Relative to Jacob and the Abrahamic lineage, it is the earth-blesser [the coming Messiah] promise Gen 11:18, that ties this family to the earth. This is why the promises and covenants God made with Israel have such earth related natures. However, they are seen as ,too carnal, by Augustine and later we will discuss why he ignored Israel’s promises. Therefore, he and the Calvinists rejected the major promises and covenants that God made with the Jews. They do not consider them in their doctrine. Therefore, their theology is so out of context with the general themes of the Bible, that it cause nearly all of their interpretations to be erroneous. See Appendix B on God’s promises to the Jews that the anti-Semitic world reject.
God’s Ultimate Purpose in the Lineage of Jacob
The ultimate purpose of God in this lineage of Abraham to Jacob, then to Jesus, is redemptive in the long run. Its purpose is ultimately fulfilled in the final glorification of all of the saints, both Jews and Gentiles, through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus is the Lord and savior of the Church, in the Church Age. He is also the Messiah of the Jews in the coming Millennial Kingdom Age.
He is/will be the Messiah; the King of Israel on the earth in the Millennium [the earth-blesser]. The core purpose of the lineage is to finally and eternally fulfill the purpose of the redemption of man and the earth as described in Revelation 21.
The principle purpose is to get man from Genesis 3, [the fall], to Revelation 21 the complete redemption of man and his earth in its ultimate restoral, the New Heaven and the New Earth. God’s purpose is to ultimately save and redeem man back to Himself.
This is the essence of the concept of predestination spoken of by Paul in the scriptures like in Ephesians and in Romans. It is God’s passionate determination to completely without fell redeem and glorify man via His church. As we look back at the Jacob and Esau case we can see the pattern of God carrying out His plan, step by step, lineage by lineage, and calling by calling. God is the planner of the entire thing. God is the only and the independent designer and driver of the purpose.
God’s Redemptive Purpose in the Election of Jacob
So, in short, I will explain God’s choosing Jacob over Esau. It was so that God’s purpose of that part of the election of the righteous lineage from Adam to Abraham to Isaac, would be to Jacob [who God preferred]. Because it was in the plan of the purpose, that Jacob be placed there. Thus, it was so that according to God’s mind and purpose the lineage would go to the twelve tribes, then to Judah, then to David [Jesus the son of David]. It would eventually go to Joseph and Mary, through whom came Jesus. Then from Jesus to the Church. Then it goes to the Messiah. Then to the New Heaven and New Earth. Then to the behold the tabernacle of God is with man—man one with God in the eternal state [Rev 21:13].
Purpose Beginning with Adam, to Abraham to Jacob to Jesus
The righteous lineage and redemptive purpose of God, in the flesh, starts with Abel who was righteous, who was killed by his brother, Cain. To keep the purpose and lineage going, Seth who was righteous replaced Abel. Eventually Adam is replaced by Jesus in the lineage of the fleshly line, so that he could die in the flesh. However, continuing from Seth God preserved the lineage in Abraham. God chose Jacob over Esau thereby reversing the traditional order, of the eldest being preferred and chosen. Therefore, it is not Jacob’s position as far as him being the youngest that caused his election, neither did that hinder his election. But it was the call of God upon Jacob that made him the progenitor of the line of purpose.
The Choice of Jacob over Esau, was the Calling and Wisdom of God
There was no difference between Esau and Jacob, they both were sons. But it was the call and pronouncement of the father that bestowed the blessing upon the one who is to receive it. It is a calling and a pronouncement not obtained by ethnic or genetic seniority. This point is being made in Romans 9:11 to show the Jews that their Jewish pedigree and seniority [elder brother status] does not merit them being first in the church age. This point is the reason for Paul’s discussion of this in Romans 9:11. Please keep in mind that this is all about corporate Israel in the Genesis passage and it is also a corporate reference in Romans 9:11, relative to the Jews [elder brothers] and the Church.
Like so, in the case of Jacob’s election, God didn’t leave it to Isaac to do this, he would have chosen Esau whom he [Isaac] loved dearly.
But rather, God allowed it, and purposed it, to be so, that the pronouncement [the calling] of the blessing and the transfer of the birthright went to Jacob the ‘son of purpose’ [the nation of Israel], and not the son of traditional position [Esau the Edomites]. God was behind the whole thing.
Not by the Will of Man
If Isaac had chosen Esau, that would have been the work and the will of man according to man’s usual order in this matter; that is the eldest son without reservation is selected and pronounced the blessing and the birthright. In this case, had Isaac done that, that would have been the work of man.
Then Isaac would have had the right to boast in it. But not this time, God saw to the election of Jacob, so that His purpose would continue not by the will of man. God didn’t want man’s fingerprints on the election of Jacob, in this case. It was that the purpose and path of the lineage would continue, so that it would stand. It was that it would stay on course; hence, it is (that the purpose of God according to Election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth) v11 here is the meaning of the purpose of the election in Romans 9:11.
God Switched the Traditional Order, in Selecting Jacob over Esau
Before the boys were born, Jacob [the nation of Israel] was already selected. Because he was to be the continuing seed in the line of the purpose. God even told Rebecca that she has a part in the general purpose by bearing the two nations. One of them is going to be the nation through which the purpose will be fulfilled. It will be eventually from that nation that the Messiah, the King, the Lord of Lords, the Immanuel who is the redeemer, will come.
And the LORD said unto her, two nations are in thy womb, and two manners of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people...Gen25:32
Here, Esau is the first born, but God has Jacob’s election on His list as the next move in the purposes’ path. Here God predestines [chooses] the Israelites as opposed to the Edomites [the children of Esau] to pass on the seed of the redeemer. There is a degree of mystery as to why Jacob was elected and not Esau.
This is not to be taken personally, pertaining to Jacob. It was not about the person of Jacob, but it was about Jacob [Israel] as the progenitor of the corporate people, Israel. It was God’s chosen venue of a continuing family, a nation, a people, thus, it is pertaining to the corporate people Israel. In the election of Jacob God did not elect a person, He elected a people.
This is not the election of an individual, as it is erroneously suggested by those who fail to study the passage carefully. This is corporate and thus, bigger than the election of an individual. Calvin’s election of individuals to ‘eternal salvation doctrine’ cannot be taught from Gen 25:23.
1. This is not an election of an individual; therefore it, cannot be used as a model of how God elects individuals to salvation or reprobation. It was the nation of Israel that was spoken of by God to Rebecca, not Jacob as a person.
2. It was not an Election to personal salvation. personal salvation was not offered yet in that dispensation. It was not about New Testament redemption. Redemption as we know it in the New Testament was wrought by Christ and was not known to the patriarchs in the Dispensation of Promise. God did not mention that to Rebecca, because that was not the point He was making to her. Apparently, it was never God’s intent, that personal salvation be taught from this historical Jewish only related event.
Chapter 3 Part II-The Election of Jacob from the Dispensational Perspective
The election of Jacob over Esau occurred in the Dispensation of Promise, under the Covenant of Abraham, in the Patriarchal Period, as recorded in the Pentateuch.
In this part of the chapter we discuss the dispensational relevance of the election of Jacob. Here we further prove that Calvin’s doctrine of predestination and Unconditional Election didn’t come from Genesis 25:23. It came from Augustinism as we discussed in Book I.
The following definition of a dispensation is used in our discussion: Scofield. C. I. Scofield states, (THE NEW SCOFIELD STUDY BIBLE, NIV, Oxford Univ. Press., New York, 1967, p. 3):
"A dispensation is a period during which man is tested in respect to his obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God.
Three important concepts are implied in this definition:
(1) a deposit of divine revelation concerning God's will, embodying what God requires of man as to his conduct
(2) man's stewardship of this divine revelation, in which he is responsible to obey it
(3) a time-period, often called an 'age,' during which this divine revelation is dominant in the testing of man's obedience to God.
The dispensations are a progressive and connected revelation of God's dealings with man, given sometimes to the whole race and at other times to a particular people, Israel. These different dispensations are not separate ways of salvation.
The Dispensations Relative to the Election of Jacob
The election of Jacob must be seen in the light of its place in the dispensations. There are some significant things about the dispensations that will answer the question: Was God discussing personal salvation when He told Rebecca that two nations were in her womb?
Here in this section, we discuss the relevance of the dispensations to the election of Jacob, and what God said to Rebecca about it.
The Relationship of the Dispensations to the Election of Jacob
Relative to this story, God’s dealings with man in the first four dispensations [Innocence, Conscience, Human Government, and Promise] matter, and must be taken into consideration in the interpretation of the meaning of what God said to Rebecca in Genesis 25:23.
What must be kept in mind, is that the Dispensation of Promise, wherein God spoke to Rebecca, was the first one of the two exclusive dispensations [Promise and the Law], where God had excluded the entire world, other than the family of Abraham, from His dealings, which included His appeals, His revelations, His promises, His spiritual blessing, and His covenants. The world was scattered and dis-fellowshipped from God and were not privy to these things of God.
Prior to the Dispensation of Promise, God appealed universally to mankind in the Dispensations of Innocence, and Conscience, and finally in the Dispensation of Human Government. These first three dispensations were different from the Dispensation of Promise and the Dispensation of the Law, which were exclusively to the Hebrews. In the Dispensation of Promise [Gen 12-Exdous 20] God was not on speaking terms with the rest of the world. They were excluded from the dealings of God. This is what is meant by Promise and Law being exclusive dispensations.
But the other dispensations were universally inclusive i.e. Innocence, Conscience and Human Government. These all were universally inclusive, they included God’s dealings and appeals to the entire human race. So, we say these are three of the four universally inclusive dispensations, where God called all men everywhere, of every race, and every nation [ man as a whole] to a relationship with Him. The Inclusive dispensations are Innocence, conscious, human government and grace. In these inclusive dispensations God made covenants universally.
The other inclusive dispensations came after the two exclusive ones ‘Promise’ and ‘Law’. It is the Dispensation of Grace, the Church age, that is universally inclusive, such that, the call of God is universal. It is to whosoever will come.
As we look back at the first three dispensations; Innocents, Conscience, and Human Government, it was the Dispensation of Human Government which ended in the expulsion of the human race from the fellowship of God, which was scattered, shut out, and alienated from God’s dealings.
This shutout and alienation existed from the Tower of Babel to the in-gathering, beginning at Pentecost. For our purposes in this thesis, it must be noted that the events of the Dispensation of Promise where the Esau and Jacob story occurred was in that era. It was the interval between the inclusive dispensations. It happened during the period of the scattering and alienation of the whole world, except for the family of Abraham. Why do we need to note this? Because if God was not dealing with the scattered world in this passage Gen. 25, then the message given to Rebecca was not to the scattered alienated world. Then it is not universal. Then it is not in the least what the Calvinist guess at it being. Then this is another hermeneutical proof that this passage has nothing to do with the eternal salvation of the whole human race, some to Heaven and some to Hell, not in the least. In this we show the dispensational perspective of the election of Jacob. The beginning of the period of exclusiveness was the call of Abraham and the start of the Dispensation of Promise. It was focused on Abraham and his family only, all others were excluded. It is called by some the dispensation of the family.
The dispensation that began with this Covenant of Abraham is called the Dispensation of Promise for obvious reasons. For the first time God has made promises to one group of people at the exclusion of all others. From the time of Abraham on in the Old Testament, the only way someone other than an Israelite could partake of the promises was to become an Israelite himself (Ruth, for example [Ruth 1:16]). Again, the only way now is to be born again of the Water and of the Spirit. By some this dispensation is called the Dispensation of the Family because everything God had to say to man He said to this one family. The promises He made to Abraham He reconfirmed to his son Isaac, his grand-son Jacob, and then to Jacob's sons, the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. The manner of behavior God expected in this dispensation is much like the previous except that He told Abraham to go to a certain land and stay there (Canaan).How to make sense of the differences in the Bible by Timothy S. Morton
Chapter 3 Part III, Comparing the Values of the Dispensation of Promise, to the Values of the Dispensation of Grace
The Value System of the Dispensation of Promise: In the Dispensation of Promise God only dealt with man in preparation for the coming of personal salvation. There was no personal salvation mentioned by God in that Dispensation. You will not find anything in the Abrahamic Covenant, nor a promise that pertains to personal salvation or any message pertaining to how men get to Heaven or to go to Hell in the covenants or the promise of that dispensation. Calvinist must become aware that this is not the place to teach personal eternal salvation from.
In discussing personal salvation, hermeneutically speaking, we have no business in the Dispensation of Promise, like it is done in the Covenant Theology of Calvinism.
That doctrine was not known to man in that dispensation. Neither Abraham, Isaac, nor Jacob had a revelation pertaining to a personal eternal destiny to Heaven or Hell. God did not deal with them pertaining to that doctrine. A standard of personal salvation or a penalty of going to Hell or a reward of going to Heaven, were not in the scope of their revelation. They were not motivated by that.
Nothing they did in the patriarchal period was motivated by a goal of going to Heaven as a result of it. Nor was anything done to escape going to Hell over it. That simply was not their divinely given value system. Hence, none of the acts of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Rebecca, Esau, nor anyone in that era was based on their aim to personally be saved from eternal damnation. If that were so, then Abraham would not have been able to sleep after having sex with Hagar, being a married man. Neither would Sarah have been able to sleep with him. Rebecca would have had to confess to her pastor for the trick she played on her husband for Jacob’s blessing. There was nothing pertaining to that, in that dispensation.
New Testament values and New Testament doctrines are foreign to the Patriarchal Period and the values of the Patriarchal Period are foreign to the New Testament. They are like two foreign languages. In order to understand them you will need an interpreter or you will have to learn that language.
The Dispensation of Promise is Different from the Dispensation of Grace
When Calvinist read the Jacob and Esau account, they tend to read it in the light of the idea of eternal salvation and damnation, mainly because Augustine put it in the background of Western Philosophical thinking. He put it there wrapped in his speculative theory, that this is a template of how God predestines men to Heaven or Hell. Please note, how to get to Heaven or Hell is a New Testament revelation, which was not yet known to the Patriarchs. It was not shared with them by God.
The New Testament Value System, Compared to the Value System of Jacob, Esau and Rebecca
The New Testament value system, is one that deals with Heaven and Hell and personal salvation, but the value system of the Dispensation of Promise was based on the lineage and promises to Abraham. They were pertaining to his multiplied seed. They were pertaining to the possession of a place and a land. The covenant was based on the hope of a people with an ever-continuing posterity on the earth. It was to a proxy people who looked for a kingdom on the earth. It was about the promise of having a continuing lineage. Theirs was about a perpetual posterity and was earth possessing, in nature. It was about passing earthly blessings from one generation to the next. These were the values that were relevant to the election of Jacob.
In the Dispensation of Promise, it was about the receiving generations [the children] holding to the promises of the fathers and those made by God to their families. Thus, to understand the Esau and Jacob case, it must be seen in light of the value system [the covenant and promises] in which God dealt with them in the Dispensation of Promise.
Then we will see more clearly that their system did not include the eternal matter of the predestination of individuals to hell or heaven. Even St. Paul’s reference to this scenario in Romans 9:11 is along the lines of the value system of the Hebrews. The nature of the question being asked by the Jews in the Book of Romans was pertaining to this very same value system, pertaining to their place and lineage, with in the context of them being the seed of Abraham.
Eye Opening Revelation of the Context of Jacob’s Election over Esau
Seeing this opens the true context in which Paul is speaking in Romans 9:11. It is about the Jews along these lines and not pertaining to what Augustine needed for it to mean in order to win his debate against Pelagius.
The Dispensation of Promise, and the era of the patriarchs was centered on the Covenant of Abraham, not the New Covenant, of which the New Testament Church is centered on. Thus, much of what was done and said then, was not directly related to New Testament revelations, which later came in the Dispensation of Grace. One was the doctrine of personal salvation from eternal damnation. That is strictly a New Testament revelation. It is strictly a product of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—unrelated to what happened with Jacob and Esau in Genesis.
Not only was the value system of the Dispensation of Promise foreign to the value system of the N.T. It was also true, that God’s dealings with man were exclusive to the Hebrews only, in that era. The Dispensation of Promise was a mercy dispensation. It was a mercy dispensation because God had just closed His dealings with man ‘as a whole’ human race at the Tower of Babel [Gen 11:8]. Then in His mercy, He called Abraham to be the father of a proxy nation [family] through which He would start His dealings with man again [Gen 12:1].
The calling of Abraham was the start of the Dispensation of Promise, the dispensation where the election of Jacob over Esau took place. Thus, the meaning of the election of Jacob over Esau are within the context of God’s purpose in that dispensation. They are relative to the callings, the promises, and the covenants God made to and with Abraham.
All the promises and covenants God made with the Hebrews [seed of Abraham] were earthly in nature. None of the promises, covenants, prophecies and or messages given strictly to the Jews as a people or as a nation, in the Old Testament’s dispensations of Promise and or the Law, were pertaining to heavenly eternal things.
Values of the Dispensation of Promise Were Based on the Abrahamic Covenant
The proxy nation, the Hebrews, were an exclusive family, then. The rest of the world was not included in the dealings of God with the proxy people, until the future Dispensation of Grace in which He will deal universally with man again. But for then, in the dispensation of Promise, God’s dealings with man were exclusively with the proxy family. That proxy family was the Hebrews with Abraham as its father. I brought that point in to show that what was said to Rebecca in the Dispensation of Promises, could not have been meant to the whole world. God was not dealing with the whole world outside of the Hebrews about anything, in that dispensation. God’s purpose in this, was to establish that family on the earth and to bring in lineage-wise the Lord Jesus, who would make the inclusion of the whole world in the things of God possible. But then, in the Dispensation of Promise all things were exclusive to the Hebrews [the proxy family].
Therefore, the erroneous claim of the Calvinist; that the message given to Rebecca [Gen 25:23] was a message concerning the eternal salvation of the whole human race, some predestined to Heaven and all others to Hell, is an incorrect theory. That erred idea is a gross contradiction and misinterpretation of this sacred passage. God had nothing to say to the Gentiles from this passage; not then, and not now. Therefore, we cannot refer to this ancient passage which is specific to that dispensation, to teach eternal salvation from. Nor can we exegete a doctrine of election of a fatalist god from here.
That idea came from Augustine and the ancient philosophical world view of fatalism which was very strong in his philosophy when he made up that doctrine. Especially now that Jesus has come and has shown us how to avoid hell and how to go to heaven, we cannot accept this false teaching.
To teach Eternal Salvation from this Passage, was not in the Scope of Paul’s Doctrine
The Pentateuch, where the story of Esau and Jacob is found, does not discuss the personal eternal destinies of individuals at all. Paul who was a scholar of the Torah [in the Pentateuch], would not have been teaching the eternal election of individuals from this passage which happened in the
Dispensation of Promise, because that is not taught there. Neither would Augustine and the Calvinist, had they recognized the content and context, of the Pentateuch as not being pertaining to that [individual salvation or reprobation].
To teach salvation or damnation from Gen 25:23, is out of sequence with the order of the progressive revelations of God pertaining to that. This is how the false doctrine of unconditional election was produced. God chose to progressively reveal His plan of salvation finally in the Dispensation of Grace. Personal salvation pertaining to individuals going to Heaven and Hell was not offered to the reprobated Gentile world, nor to the Jews, in that dispensation. It was not introduced until after Calvary. This doctrine is the effect of Augustine and Calvin not believing in the dispensations. They jump all over the Bible drafting scriptures, out of their context, and throw them together in a way that forces them to teach their doctrine.
The Eternal Salvation of Man [Mankind] is in what happened with Jesus Christ—Not what Happened with Jacob and Esau
We cannot look back to the Dispensation of Promise which specially represented the origin of the history of the Jew’s lineage, to get a revelation on how eternal life is gained. No! especially not, since we have the full revelation of salvation in Jesus Christ. We are not to try to circumvent the Gospel of Jesus Christ as if it is nothing, like it is done in the Reformed Theology of Calvinism. It is improper to refer back to a passage in the Old Testament’s patriarchal era, which is specially related to the Abrahamic Covenant, that is in this case, strictly for the Hebrews, and not pertaining to the rest of the world, to find God’s plan of salvation. The plan of New Testament eternal salvation is not found in Genesis 25. Gen 25:23 is unrelated to New Testament personal salvation. But regardless to that fact, the Calvinist teach it anyway, to erroneously support an illogical doctrine of election which is not true to the passage at all.
It was not God’s intent to teach the doctrine of Heaven and Hell, by or from, the election of Jacob over Esau. It was not the purpose of God to establish a philosophy on how individuals are either eternally saved or lost from the election of Jacob as progenitor of the Israelites. Injecting that erroneous thought into the interpretation of the meaning of this true historical account is; anti-lineage, anti-purpose, anti-gospel, anti-Christ and most certainly anti-apostolic.
Not the Prophets, nor Moses, nor Jacob, nor David in the Psalms, neither did Jesus mention the ‘Jacob and Esau Case’ as being pertaining to how men get to Heaven or Hell
If this really was the message to Rebecca, Isaac, Jacob, and Esau, about Heaven and Hell, why was it never taught to their children as being pertaining to that? If what Calvinist say this passage was about, was true to the passage, then that teaching would have been taught all throughout the scriptures. Moses would have said it. The prophets would have proclaimed it. It would have been mentioned in the Psalms. It would have been mentioned in the Proverbs and the Songs of Solomon. Jesus would have reminded us of it, during his ministry while on earth. The Apostles would have included it in their messages. Alas! None of these are the case—hence, it is not taught in the Bible, that Gen 25:23 or Rom 9:11, are pertaining to personal salvation or damnation.
Augustine’s Philosophy Affected the World’s view of Genesis 25:23
Yes! Augustine had a dual role and allegiance. He was a philosopher who was inclined to Gnosticism, just as much as he was to the Bible. It took nothing for Augustine to mismatch the two of them to the advantage of whatever he wanted to accomplish at the time. He is known for this and it has been documented by a multitude of scholars. You can’t trust Augustinism when it comes to getting the truth about the Gospel. He was not filled with the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues. He was first, a secular philosopher, then a theologian. Being deeply committed to a number of other non-apostolic ideologies, viz Neo-Platonism, dualism, absolute predestination, pre-determinism, fatalism, Gnosticism, Anti-Semitism, Augustine was not solely committed to sound theology. Augustine did not have a vested interest in the protection of the integrity of the gospel. He was not particular about avoiding the gospel that the secular religious world propagated. This is the person that Reformed Theologians revered and who they received the unconditional election doctrine from. If Reformed Theologians would have revered the Apostles, like they did Augustine, they would have been Apostolic a long time ago. However, that was not their goal. Therefore, we as Apostolics, cannot claim them [The Reformers] as our theological fathers. We must have our eyes open and our minds guarded, as not to accept this kind of teaching.
The Doctrine of Unconditional Election is a Misfit to the Gospel
Alas, this passage does not reconcile with Calvinism, not in Genesis 25:23, nor is there anywhere else in the Bible, that reconciles with Calvin’s doctrine. The first time this idea came up was when it came from St. Augustine when he taught it under direst to win an argument against Pelagius in about AD397. Then after that, he spread it into the thinking of the Western World. But before Augustine, we have no record of any of the Apostolic Fathers nor any Church Father, teaching this obvious error from this passage [Gen 25:23]. This illogical and unbiblical doctrine, never fit into pure biblical theology. We cannot fit a circle into a square hole. Calvinist have tried to force this doctrine as mainstream core Protestant Theology. But it has been clearly seen that it just does not fit. It’s just not true to those passages which are erroneously misused by them to teach this hell frightening message, that is so contrary to the Gospel’s message of free will and eternal hope. If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. That is what the bulk of protestants have decided to do with the doctrine of Unconditional Election—that is not to force it. That is why the majority of protestants today, are not Calvinist, it’s just not biblical.
Some might ask, What’s the Big Deal?
Could the Esau and Jacob Scenario be used as an allegory that models God’s way of selecting people for salvation, even though the passage is not about that?
Many Calvinist know that Rom 9:11 is really not about personal salvation. But in order to keep their theory in the running, they teach the passage as an allegory that suggest their doctrine. They teach it as if the Patriarchs [Rebecca, Jacob, Esau] were not real people and this is not real history. By this, they can make it mean whatever they want it to mean [this is the nature of the Covenant Theology of Calvinism]. But we as Apostolics, wecannot take a passage like this, that has a clear meaning to it and say it is saying something altogether different from what it is saying. No, it is not proper hermeneutics to take a passage out of its context to use it to teach a doctrine or idea that is not found anywhere in the Bible. This Passage is not pertaining to the eternal salvation of individuals. Thus, to introduce this as being pertaining to personal eternal salvation is in conflict with the passages in the New Testament that are pertaining to personal salvation like; Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:45. Acts 19.
When Paul discussed the Esau and Jacob scenario with the Church in his epistle to the Romans, in Romans 9:11, he was discussing the issues of the Jews pertaining to their lineage. He was not discussing their eternal life relative to their lineage, in Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. But rather, he was showing how God was sovereign in His choice of Jacob over Esau, for lineage purposes. God’s choice of Jacob was not anti-Esau, but was for the sake of the overall purpose and redemptive plan of God.
Trodding on the Jews, by Mainstream Secular Theologians
We must be reminded that there is an element in the world that is anti-Israel, gnostic, and unapostolic. Jesus said; “Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled” [Luke21:24-25].
We must notice that there is an undercurrent meanness to the Jews in the world and will be there until Jesus comes. Even the devil hates Israel, because Israel is the venue of the redemption of the earth, which Satan is the prince of the power of the air, for now. Any victory of Israel’s is a threat to Satan and a sign that he will soon be cast into the pit, upon Israel’s entry into the Millennium Kingdom.
For this reason, Satan wants to hide from the world the message of the lineage of Abraham being in the Jews, through Jacob. In the secular religious world, it is hidden by covering it up with doctrines that are meant to keep our attention off of the Messianic Promises God made to the Jews, like Calvinism does. Calvinism has a dangerous anti-Semitic agenda in its theology. It is used as a secular religious means of trodding on the Jews. Jesus did not say that all of the trodding on the Jews would be military [Luke 21:24-25]. It will be philosophical and theological as well, as we see in Augustinian-Calvinism. Calvinist use their doctrine of Election to replace the Messianic message in this passage, Rom 9:11. Then too, while covering up the true message of the gospel to the Jewish remnant, which is in the passage, it also draws our attention away from the true salvation passages that are to everyone about personal salvation like, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:45, Acts 19.
Therefore, we must conclude that there would be too much lost if we were to teach this scripture allegorically, like the Calvinist do, erroneously, claiming it to be pertaining to the personal eternal salvation or reprobation of all mankind. We cannot do that especially since that is not what it is about. The doctrine of Unconditional Election and Predestination is a distraction from contradiction to the divine meaning and message of this ancient sacred passage [Gen 25:23]. We as Apostolic Faith defenders should not take this very dangerous distraction and contradiction lightly.
Conclusion The true historical event of Jacob being elected by God as the progenitor of the continued lineage of the seed of Abraham, was significant. He was the father of the Israelites, through which Christ the Messiah would come. This is not pertaining to the personal salvation of people, like Calvinist think. We know this because in the passage God was referring to Jacob as a nation, not as an individual. This was not referring to his personal, eternal salvation. Nor was this pertaining to the eternal reprobation of Esau. Therefore, we cannot apply this to the eternal salvation or reprobation of all of the human beings in the world, because Gen.25:32 and Rom 9:11 in their correct context, are not pertaining to that at all.
Vessels of Destruction and of Mercy
Discussing the vessels of honor and dishonor, mentioned by Saint Paul in Romans 9:21-24
In this chapter, we explore the meaning of the vessels of honor and dishonor mentioned by Saint Paul. We explain the meaning of the ‘vessels fit for destruction’ and the ‘vessels of mercy’ mentioned by Paul in Romans 9:21-24.
The aim of this chapter is to answer the question; is this passage pertaining to Calvin’s teaching that some persons are predestined to Hell before they are born. And some are predestined to heaven. Those persons who are destined to Hell are suggested by Calvinist to be the vessels of dishonor referred to by Saint Paul in the potter clay metaphor [Roms.9:21-24]. And the vessels of honor are those who predestined to heaven. In this chapter, we show that this passage is not discussing all of the people in the world that are predestined to Heaven, as the vessels of honor. And those who are predestined to hell, as the vessels of dishonor, but rather, it has a different meaning, pertaining to the Jews and the New Testament church. Paul’s discussion of these vessels is not referring to the election of individuals at all. This passage was hi-jacked by Augustine to attach his teaching of fatalism in order to incorporate the pagan idea of fatalism into a church concept. Even though that was very deceitful, it was a perspective that the pagan fatalist thinking, so called Christians, could relate to. Even though that erroneous concept is not taught from here this is where the Calvinist illegitimately claim that their double predestination theory comes from.
1.To explain the metaphor of the Potter and the vessels of honor and the vessels of dishonor.
2. To explain what is meant to be fit for destruction.
3. To identify what question of the Jews, the Apostle is answering about the Jews and their state in the passage.
4. To be able to explain who, the ‘us’ is in verse 24.
5. To identify who the Potter is.
6. To tell who the ‘vessels fit for destruction’ are.
7. To explain what caused the Jews, to be only fit for destruction.
8. To identify who the vessels of Mercy are
9. To trace the destiny of the vessels fitted for destruction; and tell if they were destroyed by the Potter or not?
10. To Articulate a conclusion as to whether this passage is teaching Calvin’s doctrine of the predestined reprobate, as the vessels of dishonor.
12. To explain whether or not, the vessels of dishonor represent innocent people who are born to go to Hell, as Calvinism teaches.
13. To explain why this passage is not pertaining to the predestination and election of individuals to salvation as deceitfully taught in Calvinism’s double predestination system, but rather it is pertaining to the corporate body of the Jews and the corporate church.
Augustine Resisted the Messianic Message, in Paul’s Teachings, in Romans Nine
A key point that must be made is that, in Augustine’s philosophy he was totally blind to any message of messianic gospel of mercy or hopeful outlook for the Jews. Because of this, he had an allegorical view of the passage which was not contextual. Therefore, he allegorically spiritualized the passage in his teachings on it. see Appendix C – Covenant Theology
His allegorical thinking, caused him to over spiritualize the passage, reading into it what was not there. Augustine erroneously allegorized the message, excluding the context about the Jews. Augustine did not like the Jews. He was a father of anti-Semitism in the Western World. In AD397 when Augustine wrote this error drenched doctrine, the prevailing secular philosophical opinion was that the Jews were replaced by the Church, because they killed Christ.
This is called Replacement Theology of which Augustine was chief author and teacher. It taught that the Jews really had nothing coming. They most certainly had nothing like a Millennial reign with Christ on the earth, as the Jews hoped for, according to the prophets. [see Appendix B]
In Augustine’s day, the whole Roman Empire and the Church world, was against the Jews. This spirit was in Augustine and caused him not to recognize anything in the scriptures pertaining to the Jews. Therefore, Augustine read Romans 9:21-24 and perceived it as if Paul was reinforcing his doctrine of Unconditional Election such that God had a field day, in eternity past, predestinating innocent people to Hell, labeling them dishonorable vessels.
According to his unbiblical and mistaken theory, those who were predestined to Hell, that is, those who were not lucky enough to be one of the predestined elect, were the vessels of dishonor. Therefore, their plight is eternal reprobation [vessels of dishonor].
And on the other hand, those who are predestined to heaven are the vessels of honor. This is what is meant by the Calvinist theory of double predestination. That is God predestined some to heaven and equally predestined others to hell.
Let us see in our studies, if that is really what the Apostle is teaching in vs 21-24, by his discussion of the vessels. Many uninformed preachers quote this passage when listing proof-text for Calvinism’s doctrine of the predestined reprobates and the predestined elect.
They often say, “didn’t the Bible say He chose some vessels of honor and some to dishonor”? Doesn’t that mean that God chose some to eternal damnation and some to heaven before they were born?
It is out of context to teach Election from this Passage, Romans 9: 21-24 because it is not pertaining to that.
The themetic background of Romans 9:21-24, is not about personal salvation or the eternal destinies of individuals. What I mean is, it is not describing God’s system of sending some people to Heaven and others to Hell. The reason Augustine came up with this, is that he refused to recognize the Jewish related context of the passage, for a number of chilling reasons of which are discussed in this book.
Romans the ninth chapter is about the Jews. This context is not a secret to the theological world. Most erudite theologians agree that the context of Romans Nine is about the heritage and history of the Jews, that got them to where they were as a corporate people. Even Calvinist scholars know this. But they are forced to erroneously teach personal salvation and the eternal destinies of individuals from here, because if that out of context error, can’t be taught from Romans 9:21-24, then their doctrine is false and dead. And then it would be obvious to the world that they have been spreading false doctrine.
Therefore, instead of admitting the context, they argue with us, because they can’t afford to die in the light of the exposure to the truth. In the verses considered in this chapter vs 21-24, the Apostle is describing Israel’s state of rejection and her legacy of rebellion against God, and their resulting state of spiritual unfitness. They are corporately unfit for New Testament worship and also unfit to receive the Messiah. They have been and are rebellious. They are called by the Apostle corporately a ‘stiff-necked and a gainsaying people’, whose rebellion culminated in the rejection of the Lord Jesus Romans 10:20-21.
The Vessels of Wrath Fitted for Destruction
The Jews thought they were something special because they were the seed of Abraham Romans 3:1-2. They felt that being the seed of Abraham by itself gave them the birthright to the things of God. However, in Romans 9, Paul breaks the news to them, that instead of being vessels of honor which are fit for acceptable New Testament worship, they by their rebellion have pushed God to the point of wrath against them. And God’s wrath is anxiously aggressive towards them, such that He would exercise His wrath upon them. Their condition has made them vessels of wrath only fitted to destruction; vs. 22-23
what if God, willing [wanting] to show His wrath, and to make His power known, [instead]endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that He might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory…. This passage explains it all. As Paul is discussing Israel throughout the chapter, in verse 21-24 he makes it clear that corporate Israel is hardened and blinded, while they think they are alright. But Paul shows them, that instead of being first and right; they are only here by the tolerance and longsuffering of God.
Israel in Her Rebellious State, is Only Fit for Wrath They are only fit for Wrath.
Thus, the Jews are the ‘vessels of wrath fitted for destruction’ and the Church is the corporate body of the ‘vessels of mercy’ [v 24, even us] that came in upon the rejection of the Jews [vessels fitted for destruction]. God could have showed off His power by demonstrating it with wrath upon the Jews, but in His own counsel, He chose not to. But rather, He chose to demonstrate His Mercy using the Church as the object of it. Here is mercy displayed instead of wrath.
The Predestination of the Church in Paul’s Language
God chose not to spend His show of power on negative Devine force against the Jews, even though they well deserved it. But rather, God expends the positive power through a show of Mercy and Goodness upon man through the Church of Jews and Gentiles.
The Church is the object of His Mercy. The Church is the glorious body which was predestined. [which he had afore prepared] This validates Paul’s doctrine of the Predestination of the Church, which is a core part of this thesis. Here it is seen that predestination in Paul’s message is corporate.
Apostolic Perspective: It is extremely important to notice here; that Paul is referring to God’s vision of the church which He already had before the foundation of the world. He foresaw, foreknew, and as Paul specifically put it; He had afore prepared it. Here Paul is referring to the church [vessels of Mercy], having been predestined. This is not individual’s predestination, but precisely in the passage, it is the corporate predestination of the church. Here is the core difference between the Apostles faith and Calvinism. The Apostles Paul taught the corporate predestination of the church, in this passage and in Romans 8, and in Ephesians 1:3-11. Based on this common context in all of the passages where Paul is referring to predestination, it is correctly concluded that the Apostle Paul did not teach the predestination of individuals to salvation or glory. He only taught the predestination of the church.
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24 Even us [corporately the church], whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
In Romans Nine Paul is Answering the Questions of the Jews
Paul’s discourse on this, was prompted by a clarion call for answers to the questioning of the Jews, about God’s gracious dealings with the Gentiles in the Church.
Their questions were;
1. How is it that we the seed of Abraham are not treated more special?
2. Shouldn’t we by ethnicity be better-off than those Gentiles [the Church in Rome had a large Gentile population]?
3. Has God reneged on the promises He made to us through Abraham our father in the Abrahamic Covenant?
4. Shouldn’t we receive priority in the things of God?
5. Aren’t the Jews by their seniority, automatically the elect of God?
All of their concerns were corporately related. None were referring to individual’s matters. Thus, all of Paul’s references and doctrines in Romans 9 are corporately about the Jews, to answer their corporate questions.
To answer their questions, Paul uses the analogy of the vessels of mercy and the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, to show that corporate Israel has sabotaged their own place as being first by rejecting Jesus Christ. Corporate Israel, in their then current rebellious condition, is only fit for destruction. But there is a remnant of Israel, through which God’s promises to Israel will be fulfilled. But for now, God is suffering long with them.
Paul further explains, that the reason why the church, of Jews and Gentiles, are chosen of God is because they are in Christ who is the vehicle of the Mercies of God. And though the nation of Israel chronologically, in history, came first [Old Testament] the Church was, like Jacob, who was predestined even before he was born, and the church was predestined before there was an Israel. This shows the corporate meaning of all of Paul’s references to the church as the predestined in his writings in Romans and Ephesians. Thus, when he speaks [writes] of predestination he was referring to the corporate predestination of the church—hence, the plan of God, Rom 9:24. Which he also describes in Romans Chapter 8.
Predestination in Paul’s Language is Corporate and Pertaining to the Church, Just as it was with Jacob
In verse 24 Paul’s meaning of predestination is revealed. It is the predestination of the corporate church. It is the us [corporate church] that God prepared before time.
Paul never used the word predestination in any other way. Not in Ephesians, nor Romans, or any of his other epistles, does Paul use that term pertaining to individual’s predestination. This is significant to know, because the core error of Calvinism is based on the erroneous idea that Paul is speaking of the predestination of individuals instead of a corporate predestination of the Church, that is the plan and is also the purpose. This is bigger than an individual, coming to God or not, in an altar call. That is way lower than what is meant by predestination in Ephesians and Romans when Paul uses terms related to predestination in his writings.
The question being answered by Paul is “why is the church, which is loaded with Gentiles, accepted while the Jews who are the seed of Abraham are left out”? The Jews were asking; isn’t there an advantage to being a Jew over the Gentiles? Romans 3. And how did we end up in this position?
This question was prompted because in AD58 when the letter to the Romans was written the church in Rome was full of Gentiles. The Gentiles were dominant in the church’s body and its leadership. That dominating Gentile presence in the church was overwhelming to the Jews—this prompted the questions of the Jews about their rightful place. In the potter and clay scenario, Paul is explaining why the Jews are fit only for destruction, while the Gentiles and Jews in the Church, are the object of God’s Mercy. This must be noted because, what is discussed in v 11 and vs 21-24 are pertaining to these issues, not the eternal destiny of individuals, as the Calvinist so wrongfully claim.
Conditional Wrath on the Jews, Held Back
There is a cause and effect situation here, [conditional]where the vessels fit for destruction are in that state because of what they did, not what God predestined, regardless to what they did, like Calvinism’s fatalism suggest. It is their rebellion that has them in that state. It is what they did that is the cause of the need for God’s long-suffering with them. It is not because of His predetermination of their state, regardless to their demeriting or meriting behavior, like in Calvin’s assumption of Unconditional Election. Even if Calvin’s doctrine of Unconditional Election was true, and it is not, this is the wrong place [vs 21-24] to try to teach it from, because the vessels fit for destruction were in that state upon condition of what they did, not fatalistic predestination. Thus, God’s potential wrath upon Israel was based on the condition of what they did. God was willing[wanting] to show His wrath, because of what they did.
No Fatalism in the Passage
To get around the fact that the vessels fitted for destruction [the Jews] are dishonorable and unfit because of what they did, the Calvinist would have to inject the essence of fatalism in their explanation of the passage: Erroneously stating that God is in control of all of it; therefore, God caused it to be. And He can do so in His freedom. Thus, God is the cause. This erred philosophical thinking is born from calvinism’sintercourse of fatalism and a blurred view of Devine sovereignty.
Fatalism and Devine Sovereignty
Sovereignty is an attribute of God and fatalism is a pagan concept of the god of fate. These are the kinds of points that caused their interpretation to be affected. This is philosophy mixed in their theology. If the secular Augustinian philosophy was left out the interpretation process and the scripture is taken for what it says, then it is very clearly interpreted, not to be discussing the Unconditional Election of individuals, to an eternal destiny.
Here is an example of the difference between philosophical theology and biblical Theology. This perspective of Election is the birth-child of the mixing of the paganist idea of fatalism with theology, such mixing Augustine did a lot.
God’s whole Redemption Plan, includes those who are the Vessels of Mercy and those who are the Vessels of Wrath who are only Fit for Destruction:
In the three chapter [Romans 9,10 and 11] series on the Jews and their place and their relationship to the New Testament Church, Paul explains who they are, where they came from, how they got in the place where they are, and finally, where they are going. They are going to the place that God planned for them and promised to Abraham, to take them. They as the remnant are going to the Millennial Kingdom to reign with Christ the Messiah. And after that into the New Heaven and New Earth, as described by Paul in Rom 9:25-29. That is when they will be called by God MY PEOPLE.
There are Two Groups Discussed in the Passage: The Church, as the ‘Vessels of Mercy’ and the Jews as ‘the Vessels of Wrath, Fit for Destruction’
The redemption of Adam from the fall is twofold; the redemption of Adam via the redemption of the earth through Israel. And there is the Spiritual redemption of Adam through being born again via the Church.
Adam, the Church
Maybe it was not known to the Jews nor to the Church that God’s redemptive plan from the fall include a twofold itinerary. It included two groups; The Church and the remnant of true Israel. The Church is to be saved by being born again of the Water and of the Spirit and continuing in the faith.
Then the Church will finally be raptured [caught-away] when the Lord meets it in the air. The Church is the body of spiritual sons of God, through the Holy Ghost. The Church’s promises are heavenly. The Church is the means of the spiritual restoral of man [Adam]. This is one of the twofold agenda.
Adam, in the Jews
The Jews are the sons of Adam who are the venue of the redemption of the earthly lineage and the earth itself. It is through them that Adam get from Eden Gen3, to the New Heaven and New Earth Rev 21. This is why, all of their promises and covenants are earthly related. Because they are the sons of Adam who will be the venue of the redemption of the earth. Then eventually the spiritual sons [the Church-vessels of mercy] and the earthly related sons, [the Jews, remnant] will come together and be one as they both go together into the Holy City, in the New Heaven and the New Earth, thus, the Eternal State Rev 21.
This is God’s major and main objective. God’s plan includes the spiritual restoration of man. And the restoration of man with God and the natural creation Rev 21. It is God’s plan for the earth, the heavens, and the union between God and man.
There is an extremely important part that the creation plays in God’s ultimate plan of a glorified creation, where God will be eternally one with the man He made and the creation He made for His glory. In all of the covenants and the promises God made to Israel, were leading to this. Hence, they were related to man and the earth. This could not be seen by Augustine.
Therefore, Augustine said in his writings; The City of God, that the idea of the Millennium was too [carnal] earthly. If he was able to really speak his mind and the sentiments of Satan who is against Israel that was working in Augustine, he would have said the idea of the Millennium is too Jewish oriented for Anti-Semitism.
There are hundreds of references to an earthly Millennial reign of Christ with the Jews, throughout the Bible. There is no good reason for anyone who love God and His people to reject this mainline promise of God to the children of Israel. There are about 400 references to the Millennial reign of Christ with the Jews in the Bible. See Appendix B and Appendix C
Augustine and Calvin uses Amillennialism and Allegorical Interpretation as Escape Routes from Truth
Augustine was used as the agent of the secular religious world’s campaign against Israel in his Amillennial doctrine.
Amillennialism: the teaching against the Millennium. The teaching of Amillennialism gained ground after Christianity became a legal religion. It was systematized by
St. Augustine in the 4th century, and this systematization carried Amillennialism over as the dominant eschatology of the Medieval and Reformation periods. It is interesting to note here that, Augustine was originally a premillennialist, but he retracted that view, claiming the doctrine was too carnal.
I brought this point in to show you that it was almost impossible for Augustine and the Calvinist, to see the true message Paul was giving concerning the Jews in the potter and clay scenario, in Romans 9:21-23 with that kind of thinking against the Millennium Kingdom. This is deep. Wow! The Amillennialism of St. Augustine is at the heart of Calvinism. Thus, Amillennialism and allegorical thinking are the only escape routes from facing contextual truth. In other words, if Augustine and the Calvinist had accepted the context of the passage, that it is about the Jews and recognized the dispensational relevance of the Jews in the coming Millennial, in the Church in the Church Age, it would have been impossible for them not to notice that this passage is about the Jews. But instead of that, they escaped by saying; it is to be interpreted allegorically, such that we do not apply it to the Jews [Covenant Theology].
Allegorical Thinking Frees Calvinist from Context Boundaries
To interpret this passage allegorically is to treat the passage as if it is only an allegory about something other than its context. This is how the Calvinist came up with the doctrine of Election. They allegorized Romans 9:11. They say is about the eternal destiny of the whole human race, some to Heaven and others to Hell [Covenant of Grace and Redemption]. In addition to their allegorical interpretation, they also ignored the dispensational aspects of the passage, because it is too revealing of the truth about Israel’s future of which anti-Semitism detest. By interpreting the passage with allegorical thinking and ignoring the dispensational relevance of the Jews, as the vessels fit for destruction, the Calvinist illegitimately took the liberty to say whatever they want to say about the passage vs 21-24. Using allegorical thinking, they had no context boundaries to adhere.
The Metaphor of the Potter and the Vessels of Honor and Dishonor
Vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, this is corporate and conditional, relative to the Jews:
The vessels here are corporate because he uses the word vessels [plural-corporate] not vessel [as pertaining to an individual]. The Potter’s [God’s] dealings with the vessels is conditional, because the wrath festered in God is due to the actions of the vessels. Which caused the potter to be in a position of suffering long over their actions. It says right in the passage that God suffers long for what these vessels did. Romans 9:21-24
It is what they did as a nation, as a people, as a group, the caused their state. Hence, this is not about anyone going to Hell, as is in the back of the Calvinist mindset, when they think of vessels of dishonor as those predestined to hell. No! This is not about that—because in the analogy even the vessels of wrath are suffered with. They are not ultimately destroyed, even though they well deserved it. According to vs 25-29 They as a remnant, shall be revived and saved and shall be reclaimed and called by God MY PEOPLE. Thus, None of chapter 9 is about the eternal destinies of individuals.
What about the Vessels of Honor and Dishonor Mentioned in Verse 21?
Here Paul is not calling the Jews, the vessels of dishonor. Paul calls them ‘vessels of wrath fitted for destruction’ and the Church he referred to as the ‘vessels of mercy’.
In verse 21, Paul only lays the background for the following analogy concerning the vessels fit for destruction and the vessels of mercy. In verse , he describes the freedom and creativity of the Potter to make of the lump anything he wants. Then in the next two verses 22-23 he discusses God [the potter], the vessels fit for destruction, and the vessels of mercy.
I said that to say this, people often refer to this passage, to support Calvin’s Predestination and Unconditional Election theory, such that before we were born God selected some [vessels of dishonor] to go to Hell and others [vessels of honor] to go to heaven. However, I hope you can see by now that is not what this analogy is about. I am relieved and happy to confirm by this thesis, that we are not predestined to Hell automatically, before we are born, because the concept of the vessels of honor and dishonor as erroneously seen by the Augustinian-Calvinist is nowhere near the correct context of the passage [vs 21-23].
The following Passage in Jerimiah Models what Paul is Showing in vs 21-24:
The Potter and the Clay in Jeremiah’s story; Jerimiah 18:1-11
Note: The potter is God in His freedom to make of the clay whatever He wants. The clay is corporate Israel, not individuals, just as it is in Romans 9:21-23
The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessels that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so, he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
Conclusion: Our focus is on answering the question; is this passage pertaining to Calvin’s teaching that some persons are predestined to Hell and some are predestined to heaven. Those persons who are destined to Hell, are suggested by Calvinist to be the vessels of dishonor referred to by saint Paul in the potter clay metaphor. And the vessels of honor are those who are going to heaven. As we have found in our research, this passage is not dealing with those who are going to Heaven or Hell—that’s not the matter of the discussion. But rather it is the group Israel that is discussed, that is the corporate body, the Jews corporately, who are because of their own rebellion, the vessels only fit for destruction. And the Church is the body with Jews and Gentiles in it. They [the church] are corporately, the vessels of mercy.
The meaning of Predestination, in the Letters of St. Paul
In this chapter, I analyze the scriptures in the Bible, written by St. Paul, with words and phrases like; ‘Predestination’, ‘the Elect’, and ‘Election’, in them; to see if Paul’s meaning of Predestination and Election is the same as taught in Calvinism
The words above are key Calvinist terms and are the theological ‘buzz words’ that Calvinist use to claim that their doctrine is taught in certain passages in the Bible. Wherever they see those words they without ration or consideration of the context that they are used in, automatically think of Calvinism’s erred election theory. The problem is that in those passages where these words are used, valid research of all those passages, prove that they do not mean what the Calvinist teach. They only see Calvinism in those scriptures based on the erroneous presupposition that Romans 9:11 and Gen 25:23 are teaching Calvinism. And too, their allegorical interpretation of scriptures causes them not to see the real context of those passages. These two things result in misinterpretations and errors in their exegesis of these scriptures. This erroneous exegetical practice, allegorical interpretation, dates back to St. Augustine, Origen, and Clement of Alexandrea, who were the fathers of the allegorical method of interpreting scriptures. Allegorical interpretation is looking at a passage as if it is like a story with a subliminal message [allegorical interpretation]; which is different from seeing the passage in its exact context [contextual interpretation] as we in the Apostolic Faith do.
The reason we focus on St. Paul’s writings, in this chapter of the book, is because he is the one the Calvinist claim is teaching their doctrine, in Ephesians an Romans. Some Calvinist, like Steven Baugh, professor at West Minister Seminary in California say, that in Romans 9, Augustine is developing Paul’s teachings. This is a seriously erroneous thought. Therefore, in Chapters 5, 6, and 7 of this book, we analyze all of the passages written by St. Paul which have words in them that may, on the surface, cause one to think Paul is teaching Calvin’s view of predestination. I show in these chapters that Paul’s meanings of words like predestination, election and foreknowledge, are very different from Calvinism’s meanings of those words.
Apostolics, Believe in Predestination
Let us here, note for the sake of the record, that in the Apostolic Faith, we believe in predestination. But the question answered in this chapter is who or what is predestined. The Calvinist teach that individuals were predestined to Heaven or Hell by the election of God in eternity past, which occurred before they were born.
Contrary to that, the Apostolic Faith teaches that Paul is speaking of the predestination of the Church in those passages where he mentions predestination, not pertaining to personal election as described by the Calvinist. The claim of the Calvinist of Paul’s writing being about personal-individual’s election, did not come into theological thinking until Augustine brought it in about AD397. And there has been an abundance of confusion over it since then.
The Difference between what Calvinist Teach and what the Bible Teaches on Predestination
What Paul taught on Predestination and Election, in the first century Apostolic Age is vitally different from what Augustinian-Calvinist claim he taught when they came on the scene in AD397 [St. Augustine]and in 1580, s [Calvin]. Augustine made up the concept of individual election in the 4th Century to convince the Pelagians that man had no free will, such that man had to be predestined to salvation. It was first made up and introduced when he was teaching against the doctrine of free will . Because of the political crisis of those times [crisis thoroughly explained in Book I] it was absolutely necessary for him to prove in the Bible that due to man not having free will God had to predestine man to salvation. So he took the passages Romans 9, Romans 8, Ephesians 1, Gen 25:23, because of their wording, and illegitimately claimed that they were teaching his erroneous theory of unconditional election.
As we study, I point out the large differences between what the scriptures teach and what classical Calvinism teaches. One major cause for this difference is the fact that the Messianic messages in Romans 9, are not recognized by Calvinist, as I explained in the foregoing chapters of this book. This is a crucial blockage of insight and understanding. This causes the misinterpretation of the passages that pertain to the Jews and their place in God’s general purpose. It is too often noted that passages that are pertaining to the Jews, only, are claimed by the Calvinist to be speaking of the predestination and soteriology of individuals. Like in the passages where Paul teaches on the elect in Romans 9:11, the potter who makes vessels of honor and dishonor, in Romans 9:21-24, and of-course the birthright of Esau going to Jacob in Romans 9:11, and Gen25:32.
None of these nor any others were thought to be referring to the predestination and Unconditional Election of individuals to eternal life, by the Church fathers in the first, second, and third centuries. It was not until Augustine came and put them in that context for Western Secular Theologians in about AD 397. Ever since then, these passages’ interpretation has been stained with that erroneous and pretentious impression. Augustine’s philosophical guessing erroneously changed the way those scriptures were perceived, by almost anyone who did not notice their real context.
Origen and Augustine’s Method of Interpretation that affected Augustine’s Doctrine of Grace
The Calvinist method of interpretation is after that of Origen and Augustine [allegorical] who did not consider the context nor the dispensational timing of the passages they used as proof-text. This was done because they:
1.They were covenant theologians who did not consider the dispensations when studying the eschatological plan of God, especially pertaining to the Jews.
2. They were A-millennialist in their perspective of the final destiny of the Jews. They did not see the Jews as reigning with Christ in the Millennial.
3. They believed the Old Testament was mostly allegorical and was not to be taken literally or contextually. See Appendix A
5. The background of all of the passages which are used, out of context to prove their doctrine, all have Romans 9’s Calvinist misinterpretation in the background of their mind. In this thesis, this is called the Romans 9:11 presupposition of Calvinism.
Chapter Objectives for Chapters 5 and 6:
1. To identify passages in the Bible, written by St. Paul, that are claimed to be teaching Calvinism and show why they are not related to Calvinism.
2.To describe the difference between what Paul is teaching in passages where he uses words like; elect, election, predestination, chosen, and appointed and what Calvinism claims he is saying.
3. To discuss the method of interpretation used by Calvinist, which started with Origen and Augustine [allegorical spiritualization].
4. To Identify the dispensational and Messianic passages that pertain to the Jews, which are misused by Calvinist to teach their doctrine, where they replace the Jews [Replacement Theology] with their allegorically spiritualized concept of the elect.
5. To Explain why Romans 9 is misused by the Calvinism to argue their doctrine.
Method and Approach to Dealing with Calvinism
In the previous chapters, we established that the misinterpretation and miss-categorization of Romans 9, is the heart of Calvinism; by claiming that Romans 9 in particularly in verses 11 is teaching the doctrine of predestination and election. In those chapters, I showed why that is not true. I also exposed the pretense of the origin of that dogma i. e. Augustinian philosophy, not scripture. I along with a multitude of very reputable scholars, from John Wesley to C. S. Lewis, have explained clearly in commentaries, how we know that Paul in Romans 9:11 is not teaching Calvinism. But despite of all the research done, that proves this, the Calvinist insist on claiming this regardless to the fact that they themselves know better than that.
Therefore, since we have proved in the last chapters that Romans 9, is not teaching what Calvinist claim, then all the passages which are erroneously claimed to be teaching that doctrine are not teaching it either. Because they claim that Romans 9:11 is the very basis of their doctrine of predestination and election. They claim it to be the very root of that doctrine. Therefore, all the other passages which are erroneously claimed to teach their doctrine, depend on and are set forth by them based on the erroneous presupposition that Romans 9:11 is teaching the eternal election and predestination of individuals. Therefore, If Romans 9:11 is not teaching their election theory, then none of the other passages, like in Ephesians and Romans are teaching it either. What is clear In this case, is that if it is not taught in Romans 9:11, then it is not taught in Romans 8:28-33, Ephesians 1, I Thes 1:4, 2 Thes 2:13, Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:11 or any other passage. These passages in their proper context are not related to the predestination of individuals to Heaven or Hell as erroneously taught in Calvinism.
Consequently, each of these passages’ context mean something other than what Calvinism teach. If Romans 9 is not teaching Calvin’s election and predestination theory, then it is taught nowhere in the Bible.
Therefore, the approach to take to prove that Calvin’s doctrine of Unconditional Election is not taught in the Bible, is to find the exact context of each of the passages [their proof-text] that they misinterpret. In this chapter, this is how we prove that those passages, which are too often misguidedly used to argue Calvin’s errored election and predestination of individuals’ philosophical theory are not teaching that theory. Resultantly, we show that this dogma is not in the Bible.
Predestination in the Apostle’s Teaching
These are descriptions of the Church and what God did in Christ for it. Nothing about any one being predestined to Hell is taught in the letters of St. Paul. Neither does he discuss any individuals being personally predestined to salvation, apart from the discussion of the Church. Is that right? Yes! It is Absolutely correct. There is nothing Paul said on this that meant personal individual predestination. It is in the Church that one can find eternal security. The point here is that if Paul was teaching full Calvinism he would have had to balance his epistles with the message about those who were destined for Hell as well as speaking about those destined to heaven. Paul’s discussion in Romans and Ephesians is not about that [personal eternal security, and or initial salvation]. His discussion is about the marvelous and glorious work God did in Christ in bringing us [the Church] into heavenly places. How individuals get to heaven or hell, how they get in the Church, and how they are initially saved and whether or not they can go in and out of the Church and whether or not one can lose their personal salvation, is not discussed in Ephesians 1:3-11.
Paul’s discussion and meaning of predestination is far beyond those things. The problem with Calvinism is that it takes our focus off the super heavenly meaning of predestination that the Holy Ghost through Paul is explaining. Paul’s discussion of predestination is the high and eternal plan of God which is worked in Christ for the redemption of Adam [mankind] that is not affected by anything that any individual does or doesn’t do. And though an individual can affect their own participation in the plan, by either accepting it or rejecting it —they cannot affect the success of the plan. In Paul’s writings, he is not even discussing that part of the plan; that is the part that an individual play in their own partaking of the plan. He does not go there, in his writings. However, even though Paul does not discuss what the Calvinist in their flawed view of this, being pertaining to individual’s predestination; think. They still illegitimately argue their theory based on their erroneous claim that Paul is teaching their doctrine in these verses. The plan is universal, eternal, and corporate—and not in this context, about individual’s eternal destinies.
Things relative to individuals are discussed in other books, like the Book of Acts, in Acts 2:38, 10:45, 19:1-12, 8. But, in passages like Romans 8 and those in Ephesians, where Paul mentions predestination, Paul is discussing the super divine provisions, wrought in the determination, pleasure, security, and in its highly heavenly place wrought in Christ Jesus—hence pertaining to the Church.
Paul’s Discussion of Predestination is singly about the Church, which is the Plan and the Purpose, that is Only in Christ
Predestination in Paul’s language is corporate pertaining to the salvation plan for Adam, wrought only by and in Jesus Christ, via the Church. The focus of individual’s salvation is not mentioned in Paul’s discourse where he discusses predestination. It is not that individual salvation does not exist in the mind of Paul or the mind of God. But it is not the topic in Paul’s corporate discussion of predestination in this context. This predestination only becomes personal as individuals are born again into the body [the Church]. But that aspect of it is not dealt with in the passages where he discusses predestination. Ephesians and Romans, are not the place for that discussion, because they both are corporate epistles that do not focus on the doctrines of individual salvation or personal eternal destinies.
When Paul wrote of predestination in passages like the eighth chapter of Romans. This is high level apostolic revelation. It is God’s purpose; God’s call and it is God’s doings. God is the underwriter. Paul discussed all of this, in AD58 when he wrote the Book of Romans.
Then about 2 to 3 years later he said the same things pertaining to the Church in his epistle to the Ephesians. When he wrote his epistle to the Ephesians, his discussion was still ecclesia centered, focusing on the revelation of God’s work in Christ in the Church.
Paul is not teaching Calvinism nor Arminianism in the Passages where He mentions Predestination
These passages are not about individual salvation. The Church is not held up by good individuals. It is not dependent on that. God did not predestine the Church based on converts coming in foreseen altar-calls, such that He knew who would repent, so He made the Church and predestined those individuals. That’s an Arminian opinion. However, His plan was made for a glorious and inseparable union with man eternally, which was planned before the fall of Adam happened. The Church is underwritten by God’s love and determination regardless to who comes or goes. We can glimpse it now and shall later clearly see in eternity what was in the mind of God when He predestined the Church in eternity past. We shall see it all come together in the eternal state [Rev. 21]. So, the discussion of the Church, the Ecclesia, the called, the congregation, as spoken of by the Holy Apostle in Romans 8 and in Ephesians 1 should not be miss-categorized as individual’s predestination. While we all are saved via the Church, the focus of the discussion and hermeneutics in these passages [Romans 8 and Ephesians 1]is ecclesia centric hermeneutics; That means this is about the Church. Paul uses corporate pronouns in reference to the Church, the group, the assembly, like; we, us, our, which mean the body or the unit, hence, the Church. Here Paul’s words are corporate vocabulary.
Calvinist Theologians Mismatch Scriptures Pertaining to Israel, as if they are Pertaining to the whole Human Race, Confusing the Issue of Eternal Salvation and Damnation
In as much as, it is the words of St. Paul that are twisted by Augustinian—Calvinist to support and usher in their philosophy into theology, deceitfully claiming that Paul is referring to the election of some to Heaven and others to Hell [double predestination]; as an apologist, I will refer you back to the last chapters where I explained Romans 9 and have shown that those passages are not teaching the erroneous misconception of election, which is taught in the secular philosophy of Calvinism.
Ephesians-The Church Book, Discusses the Church, Not Individuals
In Ephesians, Paul describes the Church. The Ephesian church, according to Dr. J V McGee was “the Church at its best”. McGee also said that “in Ephesians Paul is not discussing conversion nor a message to sinners”. His topic in his writings to the Ephesians is not on how men go to Heaven or Hell. The Apostle’s discussion, is wholly about the Church.
It is in Ephesians 3 that Paul tells us that the Church was a mystery held by God in His general plan before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 3:1-5, 9-10. He mentions them as the Church. In Ephesians 3:21 he describes those who are included in the Church. All men Jews and Gentiles who are saved are included in the church regardless to whether they are a Jew or a Gentile. It is the assembly. It is the congregation. It is the ecclesia.
They are all one, not by the Law, but in the Spirit. In the Church, there are both Gentiles and the elect of the Jews. The study of Paul’s writings to the Ephesian church is a prime source for understanding the theology of the Church. Paul was teaching to them as one body of Christ. In the book of Ephesians Paul is against any division in the Church. In Chapter 4, he states that there is one body, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is one hope and one calling.
This he said in response to the New Jewish converts who came into the Church and had problems with the Gentile brethren. Those Jews were causing division in the body. This is the reason for the strong discourse about the Church as a unit. It is one body.
The Calvinist teaching that God predestinated all human beings to Heaven or Hell before they were born, is found nowhere in the epistle to the Ephesians. You can go through the whole epistle, verse by verse, line by line, and find out that, that thought is nowhere in the Book of Ephesians. That thought is purely Augustinian philosophy, which is a system of rebellion against the salvation plan clearly shown by the Apostles, in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles.
Conclusion: As we had searched all the passages written by St. Paul on this matter and have found that none of them teach personal election, we conclude that Paul did not teach Calvin’s predestination and election theory. And from this we surmise that doctrine as being only unbiblical, Augustinian Philosophy.
In this chapter, I Continue the discussion from chapter five on the scriptures written by St. Paul, where he mentions words that are claimed by the Calvinist [Calvinism buzz words] to be teaching their doctrine. In this chapter, we analyze all of the passages written by Saint Paul, which have been erroneously claimed by Calvinists to be teaching their doctrine. It is very important for us to notice the contexts of the scriptures we analyze in this study, because it is with these scriptures that Calvinism has erroneously dressed up Augustine’s theory of the predestined elect. I must inform you that Augustinianism is a system that has decided to insist on believing their error. As we have checked the spirit and the source of this doctrine, it is evident that It is not their aim to find the truth of the matter. The system of Covenant Theology which they go by is designed to override any contextual light that would open their understanding. Therefore, this chapter is prepared for those who are open to understanding the truth of the matter, so that we will be able to explain how we know that the Bible does not teach gnostic Augustinian Calvinism.
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; God’s elect here is the Church. It is the glorious Church of God’s determinate counsel. Its Predestination was before the world began. Here in Romans 8, Paul is saying that the election of the church by God is a sealed deal. No one can change it or work against it, successfully.
The Church is the Predestined Body of Christ
In the following scripture, the Apostle Paul has not changed what he meant by Predestination. It means the same as he wrote a few years earlier to the Roman saints in Romans 8, pertaining to the Church in the general redemptive plan of God. Here he writes with that same thinking to the Church in Thessalonica. From this we can see the Apostle’s doctrine is on Predestination.
In I and II Thessalonian, Paul uses the term ‘Chosen of God’. Does He mean ‘Chosen’; as in Calvin’s Doctrine of being chosen in election to heaven, before being born?
Does the word chosen in I Thes. 1:4 and 2Thes. 2:13 mean chosen as in predestined to Heaven before they were born, while others were predestined to Hell before they were born as Calvinism teaches?
But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. [ a particular church body, the Church]. Here the Apostle describes the purpose of the Church in the general redemptive plan; it is for salvation, sanctification on to the glorification of man. The Church is the called according to His now revealed purpose.
Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness: Here Paul mentions the saints and calls them the chosen and sanctified of God, this was written during a time when Paul had to identify that great church who did a great work in Thessalonica. They were Identified as the “chosen” of God. They did so well in their work that it was as if God hand-picked them for that particular work.
No Calvinism proved by this passage.
Paul uses the Expression, ‘For the Sake of the Faith of the Elect’ in Titus 1:1
Does he mean the elect as in those chosen before they were born to go to Heaven here?
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness:
The faith of the ‘elect’ here is corporate. It describes the entire body. It is not pertaining to individuals in this context. Therefore, this term the “elect” in this passage does not pertain to the election or predestination of individuals as Calvinism holds.
Elected, Chosen by God to Do a Special Work at a Special Time
In II Thessalonians 2:13, But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Again, in this passage Paul speaks corporately noting that he speaks to the “brethren” the church not to an individual. This epistle is to the church not a person.
In these passages, Paul is not referring to a predestined elect person who is destined to Heaven or Hell before he is born, No! Not in this passage! The burden of proof for the Calvinist doctrine is on them. The passage does not refer to that.
Paul’s Discussion of Predestination
Does the word ‘Predestination’ in the following passages, mean the Predestination to Heaven or Hell of individuals, elected by God, to such, before they were born as taught in Calvinism?
Pronouns that describe a corporate Description
Note: the pronouns us, we, those, many brothers, his sons, are all corporate terms referring to the Church. He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Romans 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Ephesians 1:5; he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.
Ephesians 1:11- 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.
To whom is Paul Referring when he uses the term ‘the Elect’ in II Timothy?
Does he mean ‘the elect’ as Calvinism teaches?
In I Timothy 5:21, the word elect is referring to angels and is not pertaining to saints.
In II Timothy 2:10 the word elect refers to the saints in Ephesus, those who are in the Church who have been sanctified. He is addressing a group, a part of the whole body. He is not speaking pertaining to any individual.
In the following Passages in Romans, Paul uses the Word Election. Does He mean Election such as in Calvin’s Doctrine of Election? Please note, as you read that there is no scripture in the Bible with the word Election in it that means what Calvinism teaches about Election. And in this book, I have discussed all of them that are in the New Testament, especially those written by St. Paul.
Romans 11:5-The Remnant of Jews—Not Calvin’s Elect
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the Election of grace: This passage is only pertaining to Paul’s discussion of the remnant of Israel that shall be saved, during the time of their corporate remnant conversion.
Romans 11:7—the Jews and the Gentiles in the Church that have obtained salvation
What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the Election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded: Here Paul is speaking pertaining to the Jews in the Church that he refers to as the Election that have obtained—not Calvin’s elect
Romans 11:28—the Remnant of the Jews who will be saved as a nation for their Fathers’ sake, this is pertaining only to the Jews
As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the Election, they are beloved for their fathers' sakes. Here the Jews are currently blinded but will later be revived and converted, they are here called the Election,
I Thessalonians 1:4-In this passage, St. Paul used the term ‘Your Election of God; Is he speaking of the Election of individuals to Heaven or Hell as believed in Calvinism? Knowing, brethren beloved, your Election of God: Here Paul uses the term Election to mean the choice of God, these saints were very strong and the seed of the gospel sown in them by the Apostle Paul bore much fruit. Any Calvinist scholar must admit that this is not speaking of election as taught in Calvinism. That’s not the context at all.
Scriptures Written by St. Paul with
the word Chosen in Them
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: this is the plan for the Church which is the choice of God in eternity past, before the foundation of the world. Not even the fall of Adam would cancel the vision and plan of ‘El’ God for the glorious eternal union with man in the Church which goes in to eternity. Again, this is pertaining to the church. The theme and theology of Ephesians is corporate and ecclesia-centric [focused on the church]. It does not take the genre of individual eternal salvation—no not at all. It is only when the Romans 9 erroneous presupposition is being referred to that one would be tempted to see it like that.
Other passages written by St. Paul and misused by Calvinists to Teach their Theory of Unconditional Election and Predestination
There are other scriptures with words from the Calvinist buzz word list that can be mistaken as teaching Calvinism, especially if the context of the passage is not studied. Because of the misinterpretation of the wording all of these passages are vulnerable to Calvinist misinterpretation.
Ephesians 2:10—We the Church are the result of the work of God, His Trophy.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. This is the Church which was planned before the foundation of the world. This is going on to complete glorification in the finality of the ultimate fulfillment of the purpose. The Church is called to good works and to bear fruit.
Ephesians 1:11 ‘We’ is Paul’s corporate pronoun used for the Church, in his epistles
also, we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will. The Church is in the redemptive plan of God which was predestined and predetermined by God as the vehicle of the salvation of fallen man.
For the Church [corporate] whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; the Church was foreknown by God—no surprise to God and Jesus Christ is the firstborn of the Church…
Romans 8:30—The Church is the Ecclesia, the Called, the Chosen, the Predestined
And those whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and those whom He justified, He also glorified. These [ those in the Church] are predestined via the Church, membership in the body, the called according to His plan…
Ephesians 2:19 So, then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, The Church is God’s household (the family of God, the sons of God). It is the corporate body in which are members who are saved by being in the Church. However, in the precise context of this passage Paul is pointing out the place, status and privilege of the Gentile saints in the church. He is speaking corporately of the Gentile brethren. It is the Church that is referred to not individuals to Heaven or Hell, before they are even born or have committed sin. There are other passages, too, throughout the scriptures, not written by St. Paul with like terms in them. These we will discuss in the next chapter. We will discuss those passages to show that too many passages are taken out of context by the Calvinists and are said to teach Calvinism’s Unconditional Election doctrine; But careful study of each of these passages prove that they are not in the least teaching Calvinism in any way. This book is written to equip Apostolic Faith pastors and teachers with the insight into the contexts of these scriptures so that we will be able to articulate an answer in every part of the Bible as to why we know that Calvin’s Unconditional Election doctrine is not taught in the Holy Scriptures. It is philosophical theology that is different from, and contrary to, the Apostle’s teaching on Predestination. The Apostle’s teaching on predestination is corporate.
We have not found that any Passage, teach Calvinism’s Unconditional Election Theory
In this chapter, we just studied all of the passages with the word predestination and related terms in them, which were written by St. Paul and have found that none of them prove that they are teaching Calvinism. Because none of them are referring to the predestination of individuals to heaven or hell before the foundation of the world, as Calvinist say they teach.
Conclusion-Calvinist illegitimately claim the passages where Paul is teaching the on the predestination of the Church; as if he were teaching the predestination of individuals to Heaven or Hell. However, it is very obvious when we study those passages, that Paul was referring to the plan, the purpose, and the determination of God for the redemption of man via the glorious body of the Church. It is in Christ that the Church is what God planned and accomplished. It is in the Church and in Christ that we have been given all things freely. The Church is the elect of God. All who are in the Church are eternally secure. I set forth to show in this chapter that predestination in Paul’s writing is not concerning personal salvation of individuals, but is God’s predestination of the Church as the means of bringing man [Adam] to a spiritual and eternal place with God. And in passages that refer to Israel, those passages refer to the plan and purpose of God to fulfill all of His covenants that He made with Adam first, in the Adamic Covenant. Then he expanded upon them in the covenants that followed viz the Palestinian Covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant, and the Davidic Covenant.
The Futile Search for Calvin’s Doctrine of the Elect in the Scriptures
Calvin’s Doctrine of Election and Predestination is Not Found in the Scriptures
In this chapter, I continue to evaluate passages in the Bible that are claimed to be teaching Calvin’s Unconditional Election and predestination theory. In the last chapter, our focus was on the scriptures written by St. Paul, with the words predestination, election, chosen, and other related words in them, to see if in those passages, Paul was teaching predestination the way Calvinist believe it.
In this chapter, I evaluate passages throughout the Bible, that were not written by St. Paul, that Calvinist claim, or could claim to teach their dogma. I take the passages, one by one, and analyze their accurate contexts to show that they are not teaching predestination and election as it is taught in Calvinism. In the previous chapters it has already been explained that Paul is not teaching predestination of individuals to Hell or Heaven when he mentions the word predestination in his writings. We could have stopped our search right there. However, for the sake of convincing the world and all the saints that this teaching is unbiblical, we go further in the study in a text by text analysis to prove from every angle that such a doctrine is not found in the Bible.
For that reason, as an apologist, I write the explanations to passages which are too often misconceived by Calvinist to be teaching their theory of Unconditional Election. According to their misinterpretation of Romans 9:11 about Esau and Jacob, where they teach that Jacob represents the elect in the world and Esau represents all the reprobates that were predestined to such, based on that theory, they believe that other passages in the Bible teach it too. They claim passages with predestination and ‘Election related words [antonyms to the words Election, the elect, Predestination, chosen], in them, are teaching that doctrine too. They erroneously think that; Calvin’s predestination theory is spiraled in various passages throughout the scriptures. Because the synonyms of the words on their list are used in those passages, they think they teach Calvin’s doctrine, like the words and phrases on the following list;
appointed, chosen, elect, Election,
those whom the father have given to the son, John 6:37
for the very elect, Matthews 24:24
many are called but few are chosen, Matthews 22:14
he shall save his people from their sins, Math 1:21
I have chosen you, you did not choose me, John 15:16
God’s chosen ones, Colossians 3:12
To you have been given the secret of the kingdom, Mark 4:10
I chose you out of the world, John 15:16
Were ordained for this condemnation, Jude 1:4
A chosen generation, I Peter 2:9
Foreknown before the foundation of the world, I Peter 1:20
Passages with these words and phrases in them, have been indiscriminately selected as Calvinists proof text, from various contexts and various unrelated passages throughout the Bible. They do this to build their case and dress-up their theory, with these out-of-context passages; so that naive theologians will swallow the whole theory.
This is what happened to the Reformers during the Reformation [1500-1700s] causing them to adopt this teaching as their doctrine [Reformed Theology].
When they read passages that had words and terms like; those mentioned in this chapter, they used them and suggest that they are teaching Calvin’s predestined and election of individuals, theory. The reason this is so prevalent among them, is that according to Calvinism’s interpretation approach [allegorical, non-dispensational] they do not practice rightly dividing the word of truth.
However, as I share in this chapter, from research, I have identified many of those passages and have explained their true contexts and their relationship to Calvinism. I have shown whether they are contextually referring to Calvinism or not. I have found no passage with any of the words or phrases listed earlier in this chapter in them, that are teaching Calvin’s Unconditional Election and predestination theory. That poses a question about why they use so many passages that are not in the least saying what they claim them to be saying, about Unconditional Election and predestination. How is that? How is it, that their scholars present so many out of context passages that are totally unrelated to what they claim? Those of you who are new to the study of Calvinism will have to get ready to deal with a lot of out of context proof text. Even the Calvinist know they have a reputation for that.
It is because of their interpretation method. Their whole doctrine is based on Augustine’s philosophy, not biblical contextual interpretation. They do not use biblical context interpretation to explain their theory. Biblical contextual interpretation, is what was meant by St. Paul when he said “a workman need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of Truth [2 Timothy 2:13]”.
The Calvinist standard of interpretation does not require scripture alignment, strict attention to the context, nor knowing the meanings of the words in the passage. They don’t require that kind of loyalty to the precise context of the passage. This is why it is often a futile venture to debate with a Calvinist, because they jump all over the Bible, hiding behind out-of-context passages. If you can ever get them to agree to the context of the passages they refer to, they would be won to the Apostle’s teaching in minutes.
As told by a number of scholars like Thomas Ice; “Alexander of Alexandria and Origen (185–254) developed the allegorical approach to biblical interpretation in the early third century. “The fundamental criticism of Origen, beginning during his own lifetime,” was that he used allegorical interpretation to provide a specious justification for reinterpreting Christian doctrine in terms of Platonic philosophy.””
HISTORICAL IMPLICATIONS OF ALLEGORICAL INTERPRETATION by Thomas Ice
Origen’s Contribution to Calvinism
Origen, was a known Gnostic combined with being a philosophical theologian, it is he from whom Augustine learned this method of interpretation. In this respect, Augustine was the student of Origen or a close contemporary. Thus, this guideless spirit of interpretation has been passed down from Augustine to the Reformers and Calvin too, giving them an illegitimate license to, misapply, miss-categorize, and to inject Augustinian philosophy and ideas of Gnosticism in their interpretive thinking of the scripture’s meanings. The Augustinian idea of God electing individuals to Heaven or Hell before they are born, is rooted in Gnostic philosophical dualism [see gnostic dualism in Book I of this series].
“Tragically, Augustine’s misreading and misinterpretation of sin based on looking at Scripture through the prism of dualism is accepted as dogma by most contemporary Christian theologians. Augustine’s doctrine of original sin owes more to Augustine’s desire to emulate the philosophers than it does to the Scriptures.” PETER NATHAN
Augustine wrote from the perspective of philosophy and forced his erroneous meanings in to the interpretative explanation of passages. This practice has been inherited by the Reformers and contemporary Calvinist. They do not consider the context of the passage. They do not have the same governing rule of interpretation, like ours; ‘rightly dividing the word of truth’. The method of interpretation we use, is to take the word for what it literally says. For the true meaning of a passage, we must take in to account the contexts, the history, and the spirit of the passage, the author’s purpose and aim, I Timothy 2:13.
Caveat to all apostolic apologists: Do not expect to win a debate against a Calvinist basing an argument on the precise context of scriptures. Their method of interpretation is not based on that.
If the Calvinists and the secular theologians had used Paul’s method of interpretation; ‘rightly dividing the word of truth’ they would have confessed hundreds of years ago, that their teaching is not biblical. However, instead those who are under the spirit of the secular religious world, where Calvinism is taught as main stream theology, are not trying to come to the apostolic truth as we know it.
They have been doused in the spirit of apostasy that was seen in the Tower of Babel and once again in the apostasy of the third and fourth centuries in the Post-Nicene period. There is an undercurrent of rebellion in the doctrine of Unconditional Election. This causes them to disrespect scriptures so low down as to misapply them and rob them of their true messages to the saints, all for the sake of forcing a false doctrine of a mystical election system, on the Western World.
Analyzing Passages, which are Claimed by Calvinist to teach their Unconditional Election Doctrine
Let us consider the following scriptures and their correct interpretation, to be savvy to what the Calvinist are trying to teach, so that we can be able to give an answer for the reason of the hope that we have in Christ, Not in Calvinism.
As it has already been established in the previous chapters, that the scriptures in Romans 9:11 the Calvinist use as the foundation of this doctrine are not related to the Unconditional Election of individuals to Heaven or Hell. Hence, they are not teaching Calvin’s theory.
All the other passages in the Bible they claim teach it, are depending on Romans 9 teaching Unconditional Election and predestination. Therefore, if it is not taught in Romans 9, then it is not taught in the passages they claim are based on Romans 9 being about their theory. Therefore, it is not taught in any passage in the Bible.
Here we analyze passages which are commonly referred to by Calvinist as proof text for their Doctrine.
I have ‘bold faced’ the passage’s words and phrases that attracted the Calvinist to the passage, to use them in their argument. Then I give contextual commentary on the passage.
The study question that guides the analysis of each passage is; Is this passage teaching Unconditional Election and Predestination as defined in Calvinism?
List of Passage Phrases that are Expounded in this chapter
1. Was foreknown, I Peter 1:20
2. No man can come-not irresistible Grace, John6:44
3. I chose you, John 15:16
4. Appointed to eternal life, Acts 13:48
5. Names in the book of life, Revelation 13:8
6. God’s chosen ones, Colossians 3:12
7. The definite plan of God, Acts 2:23
8. Secrets only to the secret group, Mark 4:10-12
9. I chose you, John15:16
10. Long ago destined, Jude 1:4
11. Even as many as the Lord…. shall call, Acts 2:39
12. They all will be taught, John 6:45
13. Men which thou givest me, John 17:6
14. I know whom I have chosen, John 13:18
15. Chosen of God, I Peter 1:1
16. A chosen generation, I Peter 2:9
17. I chose and appointed you, John 15:16
18. All the father gives to me, John 6:37
19. They all will be taught, John 6:44-46
20. God has chosen you, Deuteronomy 7:6
21. God’s choice, Exodus 19:6
22. The chosen sheep, John 10:4
23. Few are chosen,
24. The Lord has chosen you, Deuteronomy 14:2
25. The elect, Matthews 24:22-24
26. His elect, Matthews 24:31
27. The Elect, Mark 13:22
28. Those who you gave to me, John 17:9
He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you. Jesus our savior was foreordained to shed his blood and be the savior of the Church, this is the apostle telling us that our salvation in Christ was not an afterthought. There is no Predestination of individuals to heaven or hell is taught in this passage.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day: See book on Irresistible Grace [book 4] for more details. This ‘coming to him’ is related to the Jews who will not come until the time of their corporate remnant conversion, as explained by Jesus when he referred to the prophesies about ‘them coming’ when they are taught vs 45-49.
He was speaking to the Jews who were both rejecting him and murmuring vs 41-43 when he told them that he was their Bread of Life. This was related to the Jews and their rejection of him, in that scenario. This was not to New Testament saints nor was he referring to New Testament conversion process, nor is this New Testament Christian doctrine, like the Calvinist claim he was teaching. Jesus was addressing a Jew only audience.
He was responding to the murmuring Jews unrelated to New Testament conversion, ecclesiology, or soteriology. The context is exactly as here stated and has nothing to do with the predestination of New Testament saints or irresistible grace. It is not identifying the elect of the human race that are destined to eternal salvation – none of that. Jesus was only making his appeal to the Jews as their bread of life. [there is a detailed exposition on this in the Irresistible Grace, Book 4, in this series]
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. Here Jesus prepares his disciples for his departing from them, going to the Cross. He prepares them by telling them that they are chosen for the ministry, to replace him as his Apostles. He is not referring to personal salvation here, but the calling and choosing of his disciples. He picked them out from their various trades and made them ministers and fishers of men. Here Jesus is speaking of the apostles/disciples and their mission, not related to their eternal salvation. Personal or individual salvation was not the topic of his discussion. It was his choice of them as his Apostles.
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed
By the statement ‘as many as were appointed unto eternal life’. Here Paul is counting the ones that received his preaching, identifying them as ‘those who were appoint to eternal life’. It was the Gentiles in this passage, that are referred to as, those who begged for and accepted the gospel which the Jews rejected. The Jews by their rebellion against the gospel, forced Paul to the Gentiles who believed and were those who laid hold of eternal life, by their believing. The infidel Jews gave the Apostles every reason, which caused them to move to another place (Acts 13:50-52), so that the purpose of this passage is to show how cautiously, how gradually, and with what good reason the Apostles carried the gospel into the Gentile world, and admitted the Gentiles into the Church, which was so great an offence to the Jews, and which Paul is so industrious to justify in his epistles. He explains that the Gentiles believed and received the Gospel.
No this is not about Calvin’s Unconditional Election doctrine. Not by context nor by context similarity. The context of the passage is about the Jews that rejected and the Gentiles who accepted [they were ordained unto salvation by accepting] unto eternal life. The condition of their appointment was that they aggressively sought after the word, begged for it, then believed. They received it because they believed, not because God predestined their eternal life before they were born, as incorrectly taught in Calvinism. No! This is not Calvinism here—this is not similar to Unconditional Election as taught by the Calvinist.
And all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain: Calvinist would take the book of life to be the book that contains the names of the predestined elect in it. In Revelation 20:12 “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. “Here the names in the book of life were not there because they gave up their place of salvation by worshipping the beast. This may have been a Predestination of such, but in the context, it only applies to those who were in the Tribulation Period where they worshipped the beast. We can’t build the doctrine of Predestination of the whole world to Heaven or Hell before they are born from this passage, because this passage is not saying that much, that would be saying more than the passage is actually saying. That’s what happens with Calvinist and scripture; they say more than the scripture is saying. The Church is not a part of this scene because the church will have been already raptured by then.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience: Here the Church is admonished as the chosen of God to put on the characteristics of God. This is addressed to the Church as ‘the chosen’.
This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men: God’s determinate plan for the salvation of man, included the Cross and all that Jesus suffered there. That was all included in the predestined plan for the Church.
And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.” The Calvinist use this passage to teach that those who are predestined to reprobation are blinded so, because they are situationally damned and there is nothing they can do to come to God, like the elect who are predestined and are privileged with irresistible grace to hear, see, and come. They teach that both the predestined to reprobation and the predestined to salvation are based on the Election of God. That is the furthest thing from the true context of this passage! This passage is about the Jews. Yes, blinded Israel, who have been sentenced to blindness due to their rejection of God in the times of their visitation. In that day Jesus dealt with two categories of Jews the hearers and the none hearers, in this passage he is speaking to the hears telling them that because of their willingness to hear he speaks to them plainly. But because the non-hearers [ the Pharisees and their kind] cannot be trusted with his truth. They will only use it as a reason to debate with him and speed up a reason to hasten his death through murder, it won’t do any good to explain these things to them. Thus, for security reasons, these sons of the devil need not be privy to the secrets of the kingdom. Therefore, he spoke in parables to the hearers only, so that the evil Jews will not understand what he was saying. This does not pertain to the Predestination of the whole human race, where those who are reprobated are blinded to fit their reprobation as erroneously and philosophically suggested by the Calvinist. He is only speaking of the non-hearing Jews, of his day, in this context.
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. These are false teachers whose occupation has been deceit. This is not pertaining to the whole human race of the lost. This is only speaking pertaining to these deceivers. No! you cannot build a doctrine of universal worldwide damnation from here. This is a warning about those false teachers and that’s all. Do not try to force this into an Unconditional Election passage. These men crept in unnoticed and were not per se a part of the saints for good purposes. They were born from their mother’s womb with this kind of proclivity.
For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Here Peter explains that the plan of salvation is universal, not just for a select group of Jews. But it is for those who are far off [Gentiles] too, even as many as the Lord God shall call. Hence, it is for everyone then who was invited and for generations to come. This is universal and unlimited salvation in the plan, the Church. This is the inclusive nature of the dispensation of Grace.
It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—this passage in John was said in response to the Jews who murmured at Jesus when he told them that he was the Bread of Life, they were blind to him and rejected him. Then Jesus said concerning them [the Jews] that they would not come to him, until their time of an eye opening conversion, when they are converted as a nation. Their eyes will be opened by them being taught by God, through the process of their conversion—Jesus refers to Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s prophesie of this in his explanation of what he meant when he said that they will only come as a nation when they are taught. Read on down to the next few verses as Jesus explains what he meant by them not coming until they are taught. And they all as a remnant people will be taught and then come. This is referring to the Jews and it is a messianic passage.
This passage happened before the New Testament church was born at Pentecost, in the Book of St. John which records Jesus’ ministry which was exclusively to the Jews.
Jesus saw that none of the Jews were able to accept his claim to deity, his usual enemies, the Pharisees and his own followers, who had walked closely with him up to that point. These 2 categories of Jews represented all the Jews. And he only dealt with the Jews in his ministry. These 2 categories were the full set of the categories of the Jews. In that situation, many of his close followers left him and walked no longer with him, that showed that he was at the end of the line of men who would coming to him. It was because it was too hard for any Jew [any man] to receive anyone claiming deity.
The Gnosticism that Origen and Augustine embraced was of a mystical secret nature, which caused them to teach that the phrase ‘no man can come’, meant no man is able to come, because of the innate inability of Total Depravity, therefore necessitating the need for Unconditional Election. They erroneously believed that those coming, have to be the predestined elect. No one else can come. This dark gnostic idea was not taught from this passage by the Apostles nor the Apostolic Fathers nor the very Early Church Fathers. In this chapter Jesus, the Bread of Life explains that this is in reference to the Jews and their blind state of rejecting him. He is saying that when their eyes will be opened is when they are taught of God. It is then when they will come.
12- John 17:6
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
This is referring to the disciples who were chosen to become apostles. Here he was praying an exclusive prayer, where he identifies who the apostles to be were. It was the prayer for his transfer and impartation of the earthly ministry to them. When he has ascended they will be the Apostles. Therefore, he is preparing to soon go to Calvary. But it is those who followed him in his brief ministry here on earth, ‘the disciples in particular, who will carry on the work of the kingdom. Please don’t jump the gun! This is not the New Testament Church yet. I say here to the Calvinist; this scripture does not apply to the Calvinist teaching that the people which the father gave him; are all the elect in the world, who have been unconditionally elected to heaven, as erroneously thought by the Calvinist. this is strictly referring to the Apostles.
13-John 13:18-It’s about Judas, not the predestined reprobates of Calvinism.
I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ Here we can look directly at the context and setting: Jesus is speaking to the disciples when Judas was present. As Jesus spoke to them about eternal things and his plans for their future ministry and their calling as the future Apostles; He tells them that this is not meant for everybody in the room. There was one among them who was the son of perdition, a trader, thus, the one who will betray Jesus. It is he [Judas] the one to whom Jesus referred to—not at all of the predestined reprobates like the Calvinist claim.
14-I Peter 1:1
In I Peter 1, the word elect was used to mean those who were sanctified by God, set apart. In this verse, Peter greets the saints by calling them the elect—chosen of God. He addresses this to the saints who were scattered [the group that is scattered] they were partly separated geographically, but not spiritually, for they are one body, ‘the elect’ While it is obvious that the Apostles used the word elect to mean the group of saints and the Church, they never used it [the word elect or Predestination] pertaining to individuals like, it is used in Calvinism.
Though we all can see that the Church is the predestination, the passion, the purpose of God, such that in particular the term the elect is used to describe the Church or a certain part of the whole Church. Like the various churches that Paul wrote to, where he calls those churches, by names like; chosen by God, elect. He also addresses them by plural pronouns, like; we, us, those, and the word you in a corporate sense, is also used. Never does he name an individual or teach on predestination as persons being individually predestined, as if he meant predestination as God’s way of preselecting people, one by one, for salvation. That concept is not in the Apostle’s teachings. By seeing this, it is obvious the concept of predestination in the Apostle’s theology is a macro concept, pertaining to the group, the body, the plan, the corporate church. It is not micro, as in individuals like certain persons. This we agree is within the plan of God which was planned before the foundation of the world, but nowhere in any scripture is the predestination of individuals to reprobation or eternal salvation, before they are born, taught by Paul or Peter in their explanation of what they meant by election and or predestination. There is no scripture that teaches that, in the New Testament or the Old Testament.
15-1 Peter 2:9
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, a royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellency of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; this is the Church, the chosen body that is in the plan. A priesthood is a body of priest [the church]. An individual can be a priest. But an individual cannot be a priesthood. Nor can an individual be a generation. The church is a priesthood [group of priests]. The church is the generation [family of those born]. This is a corporate description of the Church.
"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.
In this passage, again Jesus is speaking to the situation with the Jews, still under the Law, not pertaining to personal salvation in a New Testament altar call-like scenario, as Replacement Theology erroneously pictures this to be. But he spoke in the context of the situation with the Jews, wherein the Pharisees ruled the synagogue and had the power to cast the Jews out of Jewish society, by denouncing them from the synagogue. It was called being cast out of the synagogue. That was one of the greatest fears of the Jews in that day. So, Jesus tells them that if they follow him He would not do them like the evil rulers, cast them out, but rather would not only keep them but will also give them eternal life. “I will in nowise cast out”
17-John 6:44-46 here as the Bread of Life [read the extensive commentary on John 6 in Book IV]. The point here is that those murmuring Jews do not have the heart, the insight, nor the will to accept Jesus as God, in their then current state of rejection and rebellion. But they will come when the father prepares them by teaching them through all of the processes that are necessary to draw them, [The Jews]. Thus, the term ‘no man’ in the immediate context it is referring to the Jews in their blinded state, none of them is fit in that state. Not even his closes disciples and most certainly not the Pharisees who hated him from day one, are able to receive Jesus as THE BREAD OF LIFE. There was no category of the Jews that accepted his claim to deity. Hence, No man of those to whom he ministered, was then able to come to him. This statement was specific to the contextual situation John 6:44 with the Jews. The statement No Man Can Come, was not pertaining to the then future Dispensation of Grace wherein whosoever will can come.
18 Deuteronomy 7:6
"For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. This is Old Testament, where God is declaring His choice of Israel, as a people. This is only applicable to Israel and is related to her relationship to God and the earth. And their place in the general purpose of God’s redemption of man and the earth which will be ultimately fulfilled in the Millennial earthly kingdom, which foreruns the New Heaven and New Earth, Rev 21.
19 Exodus 19:6
This is God’s choice Israel as his chosen people, not referring to anyone else and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel." Again like in the just read passage, this is Old Testament, where God is declaring His choice of Israel, as a people.
20 John 10:4—speaking to the Jews as their good shepherd
"When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice: Here in John the Lord is speaking pertaining to the Jews and Him as their Good Shepherd and Lord. This is not pertaining to N.T. personal salvation nor is it pertaining to the soteriology of N.T. saints and the Church. Most reputable scholars and erudite expositors will admit that this passage is not written about or to the Church, but rather it is directed at and about the Jews who as a nation had strayed and he was calling them back, one final time before their blindness and the consequence of it, set in. [see Book V, on Jesus the Good Shepard]
21 Matthew 22:1-14-Parable speaking to the Jews about the multitude of ethnic Jews, of which only a remnant will be saved. This is a companion passage with Romans 9:27-29, Isaiah 10:22, and Romans 11. These all explain that though the seed of Abraham be as the sands of the sea, only a remnant will be saved, for many are called of the Jews but few [a remnant] will be chosen. Jesus spoke to them in this parables, saying, "The kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. "And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. [read the scripture through verse 14] then read the next commentary on Matthew 22:14 No this is not Calvinism’s elect, it the Jews, who were first invited by God, but did not take the opportunity. And because of their rejecting the invitation, were cast out. Then the Gentiles were invited and did come.
The ones that were chosen were chosen because they met the condition to be chosen. Hence, er the they prepared to be chosen by having on the right garment.
22 Matthew 22:14
"For many are called, but few are chosen." This statement was spoken by Jesus to teach the Jews that their lack of appreciate and readiness to enjoy and accept what God had first offered to them, in Jesus the Messiah, caused them to be cast out into outer darkness. The few who were chosen, are the remnant of the Jews that comply with the Lord’s offer. They put on the appropriate garments that indicate compliance and acceptance, the others are lost. This is caused by their refusal to prepare themselves to be chosen. This is a perfect picture of ‘Conditional Election’; such that those who were cast out, were there because of what they did—came to the wedding feast in rebellion and uncooperativeness.
23 Deuteronomy 14:2
"For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. This is Old Testament and pertaining to Israel, God’s choice.
24 Matthew 24:22-24
In this passage, the word elect is pertaining to the Jews and those in the Tribulation Period; they are called by Jesus the elect. This is mostly referring to the remnant of the Jews that will be spared by the shortening of the days in the Tribulation Period. This is the Apostolic view. It must be noted that Calvinist do not consider the dispensations or the sub dispensational time periods, like the tribulation, in their theology. They do not believe in the Millennial reign of Christ with the Jews, in the 1000-year Kingdom Age. The reason why the Calvinist mistake millennial passages to be referring to their so-called elect, is they do not believe in the Millennial and the dispensations that the Apostle’s taught. Remember they are A-millennialist. And they do not believe in the dispensations. Their doctrine would be exposed as false if they would line it up with the dispensations and the true description of the Millennial. That would be rightly dividing the word of truth.
They cannot afford to do that, because their doctrine is not true to the biblical context. Calvinist don’t see that in these passages, the Church has been already raptured out. And therefore, the elect mentioned in Matthews 24:22-27 and 31 can only be the Jewish remnant and others that qualify to be in that number then. The entire discussion of Jesus in Matthew 24 is about the Tribulation Period with the Jews on the earth. That last for 7 years after the rapture. The elect mentioned here are those in that situation. But for the Calvinist, they ignore the dispensational context and guess that the elect here, is God’s secret set of the predestined which the Calvinist call the elect. What Jesus is saying is that in the Tribulation Period the slaughter of the Jews will be so severe that if the days were not shortened the very remnant of the Jews would be destroyed, annihilating the Jews.
This explanation just given on Matthew 24, goes also for Mark 13:20-22,27. It is Mark’s writing about the same thing in the Olivet Discourse that is recorded also in Matthews 24, Mark 13 is Mark’s version of it.
25 Matthew 24:31
And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of Heaven to the other. Here we must notice that this passage is discussing what will happen in the end. The Church will have been already raptured out by then. So, the gathering is the gathering of a select group, possibly the Jews that were left during the Tribulation Period. The elect here, do not represent the Church. The term the elect here does not mean what Calvinist say, not at all.
26 Mark 13:22 see Math 24 notes
27 John 17:9
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. The word ‘them’ here is referring to the Apostles who will take Jesus’ place as his ambassador(s). St. John 17 in its entirety, is Jesus’ prayer for his Apostles. He is not ‘not praying for the world because he does not mean for the whole world to be saved, as Augustine and Calvin’s limited atonement-predestination theory claims. but the reason he is not praying for the whole world is because this impartation prayer is especially for the Apostles-to-be. This prayer was exclusively for them, only. The Apostles are a very special select group, with a very special calling. The Apostles are so much a part of the foundation of the Church that the scriptures say we are built upon the Apostles and Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone. The Apostle’s names are in the foundation of the Holy City. This merits a very special prayer of impartation for them by the Lord Jesus. So, this prayer is purposeful and intentional, it is for the Apostles only, it is not a miscellaneous general prayer for all the people in the world. This is the master’s prayer for the Apostles, NOT FOR THE WORLD. NO this is not Calvin’s exclusive elect being prayed for-it is the prayer for the ministry of the Apostle’s
Paul taught the Predestination and Election of the Church. Different from that, Augustine and Calvin taught a spooky predestination of individuals to Heaven or Hell, before they were born. And those are two absolutely different doctrines.
As it is clear from the analysis of these passages, that none of the Calvinist proof text on the list given to us from the Calvinist, teach Calvin’s theory of predestination and election of individuals to salvation or reprobation. As we have checked the context of those passages written by St. Paul and the others they claim in the other parts of the Bible, we found out that none of them are teaching Calvin’s doctrine of predestination and election. Calvinist have engaged in a tradition of misinterpreting and miss-categorizing scriptures for more than 1700 years. This pattern of misinterpretation and misapplying scriptures, to build support for their theory is an ages-old practice of those who embrace Augustine’s predestination Doctrine, but if we look closely at each of these passages, we must conclude that none of them are teaching Calvin’s Unconditional Election or Predestination.
Appendix A. the fulfillment of the promise made to Rebecca-in next edition
Appendix B Messianic Promises of God to the Jews
Daniel 7:18-27, Job 36:7, Psalms 149, Isaiah 60:17, Psalm 37:29-31, Jeremiah 3:15, Mathew26:23, Luke 19:16-19, Revelation 20:6, Revelation 21:2, Zachariah 14:16-19, Ezekiel 40:48.
The Jews will reign with Christ for a thousand years, regardless to what Augustine said against them, in Replacement Theology
Revelation 20:1-10 says, "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, ……And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they [the Jews] lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
This passage makes several things very clear. Satan will be bound and unable to influence mankind. The first resurrection, the resurrection of the Old Testament saints (Daniel 12:2-3 and 12:13) and tribulation saints, will occur at the beginning of the kingdom. This resurrection is not to be confused with the resurrection of the Christians at the rapture, which will occur seven years earlier, prior to the tribulation. The rapture was a mystery first revealed to Apostle Paul and is not the subject of either Old Testament prophecy or prophecies given in Christ's earthly ministry.
One purpose of the Millennium is to fulfill the promises God made to Abraham and his descendants, The Jews with regard to the inheritance of the land [ the earth]:
Deuteronomy 30:1-3 I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you."
Amillennialism, breaks from Apostolic Doctrine:
It should be noted that Papias (who believed in a future, earthly Kingdom) was a disciple of Polycarp, who in turn was a disciple of the Apostle John who actually penned the passages in the Book of Revelation about the Millennial Kingdom. Premillennialism, then, may be the only eschatological system with an unbroken link directly to the author of the Apocalypse. This means that amillennialism represents a departure from what the Early Church believed. Augustine (354-430), author of City of God, a 22-volume defense of his theological views, proposed ideas similar to what we know as amillennialism (Books 15 to 19). However, even Augustine started out as a premillennialist! It wasn’t until later in his life that he decided that the prophecies about (and promises to) Israel should be interpreted symbolically and applied to the Church, rather than being interpreted literally and applied to Israel. Replacement Theology Its Origins, Teachings and Errors By Dr. Gary Hedrick, President of CJF Ministries
Appendix C- Essay on Covenant Theology
The History and Nature of the Covenant Theology of Calvinism: It starts with Replacement Theology which says that God has replaced the Jews, as his chosen people, with the church. Because the Jews killed Jesus they are like Cain who killed his brother, Abel. Because this the Jews are to be vagabonds on the earth. They are not to thrive. But rather just to exist as examples of the deplorable state of being brother killers, like Cain. Augustine quoted Psalm 59:12, “Slay them not, lest at any time they forget Your law; scatter them in Your might.” Concerning the Jews, using it to say that their plight was to exist as examples of a rejected people.
Anti-Semitism the Root of Replacement Theology
They have nothing to look forward to, because all that was promised to them has been forfeited and therefore goes to the church. This idea was born out of the overwhelming hatred for the Jews that was dominant in the era that Augustine served as a philosopher. The Post Nicene era  in which Augustine lived was bulging with Anti-Semitism. Him being affect by that, it was all too natural for him to have those sentiments in his philosophy. Anti-Semitism was one of the, if not the strongest sentiment in the philosophy and theology of the era when this theology [Replacement Theology] was made. All of the doctors of the church, including Ambrose, Jerome, Origen, even the Emperor of Rome have written expressing Anti-Semitic sentiments that the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people. But what shall we say about what is said about them in the Bible? That was the question and the dilemma of theology, that had them puzzled. The situation was so bad that It was Roman law that no Jew could marry a Christian. Along with being punished for killing Jesus, they were accused of Christian persecution, such charges were not verifiable. Synagogues were turned into churches. Jews were expelled from many cities. There had to be a theological explanation to justify this hatred of the Jews. Replacement theology was the alibi that give a relief and an escape to those trapped in the dilemma of the guilt of Anti-Semitism. Augustine led the way.
St. Augustine writes: "the Church admits and avows the Jewish people to be cursed, because after killing Christ they continue to till the ground of an earthly circumcision, an earthly Sabbath, an earthly Passover, while the hidden strength or virtue of making known Christ, which this tilling contains, is not yielded to the Jews while they continue in impiety and unbelief, for it is revealed in the New Testament. While they will not turn to God, the veil which is on their minds in reading the Old Testament is not taken away. . . the Jewish people, like Cain, continue tilling the ground, in the carnal observance of the law, which does not yield to them its strength, because they do not perceive in it the grace of Christ". A.D. 400.
Often theology is made from our current philosophy and the environment at the time it is developed. God gave us truth in the scriptures, but men propose theological arguments and theories. This is what happened with Replacement Covenant Theology. It was an explanation of the theology of God’s dealings with man that was acceptable to the Jew haters of that era.
This theology, is not a result of the praying and fasting of Augustine in a search for true revelation. But rather, it was the built-in thinking of a theological world that had already decided such against the Jews. It was the ammunition of the so called Christian philosophy against the Jews, that gave the Christians the upper-hand in the rivalry between the Jews and the Christians in that day. This doctrine was not born from sincere Christian seeking but a religious and political war between the Jews and the Christians in that day. The theological and philosophical world, that Augustine lived in was in a quandary, because they hated the Jews. But the Bible in so many places showed that the Jews were God’s chosen people. They read that the Jews were the chosen people of God right in the very Bible they used to teach hatred of them from.
So, Replacement and Covenant Theology answered the predicament by having a system of covenants that would basically override anything good pertaining to the Jews. This is the prime history of Replacement Theology and Covenant Theology from which came Calvinism.
Covenant Theology Accommodates Replacement Theology
Because the Bible has so many covenants, promises, dispensations that pertain to the Jews. More than 90 percent of the scriptures in the Bible are related to the Jews in some way. And all of that is related to some covenant God made with Israel.
Therefore, to get around recognizing Israel as significant in the plan of God for the earth and the salvation of man Augustine proposed a philosophical system that will bypass Israel in our explanation of the relationship of God to man. Thus, to explain how all that is pertaining to Israel can be bypassed or redefined Augustine philosophically proposed that God’s primary dealings with mankind are in only two basic covenants. He deals with man in the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace.
These two covenants comprise the essence of Covenant Theology. Covenant Theology was produced to explain theology and bypass acknowledging the Jews in the process. Even though It is impossible to ignore the Jews and fully understand any part of the Bible, they had no other way out of the dilemma. To account for the abundance of references to the Jews in the scriptures and their many covenants and promises that are tied to all men, the theory of Covenant Theology was introduced by St. Augustine as the basis for theology that excludes any noteworthy commentary on God’s very significant plans for the Jews. Covenant Theology is the secular religious world’s way of dealing with Israel and as a byproduct it bypasses the plan of salvation clearly taught by the Apostles in the New Testament.
Covenants of Covenant Theology
In the Covenant Theology of Calvinism, all of the covenants, promises and all of God’s dealings with man in the Old Testament and the New Testament are based on 2 Covenants:
1 The Covenant of works
Says that God requires righteousness of man in return for eternal life.
2 The Covenant of Grace and Redemption.
God will redeem man from damnation if he believes in Jesus Christ for that redemption.
These Two Covenants are the Core of God’s Dealings with Man
According to Augustine, these two basic covenants are the main point and aim of God’s dealings with man and encompasses everything in God’s dealings with man. All of the theology, history and future of the theology of the Bible are underwritten by these two covenants.
They are the bottom line of all that God does in any dispensation. They cross dispensational lines. They supersede all contexts in the interpretation of scriptures. All of the covenants, the promises, the laws, are subordinate to the purpose of the two covenants. They are the bottom line. All scripture is to be interpreted in light of these two covenants. They take priority over context when it comes to interpreting scriptures.
The Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace and Redemption are the core of every law, every dispensation, and every revelation in the Bible.
These covenants are not found in the scriptures and are merely Augustine’s way of licensing the use of this system to justify unscriptural doctrines like Calvinism, which cannot stand up to true contextual interpretation.
Because Augustine’s doctrine of election and predestination cannot be fairly found in the scriptures he makes this system to give the proponents of Calvinism an escape from being responsible to the context of the passages they claim teach their theory.
This is why their system is compatible with allegorical interpretation. Using allegorical interpretation gives the interpreter the freedom to imagine with in their own philosophical thinking what a passage means. This is where overspiritualizing a passage comes into play.
This is how Calvinist scholars seek to justify their severely out-of-context teachings, in their theology. They claim that their explanations are based on the covenants in Covenant Theology, which supersede any other insight or even the context of the passage itself. Therefore, they are so out of reach for those of us who rightly divide the word of God according to context.
Covenant Theology causes them to not recognize the dispensations. It most certainly causes them not to see the messages in passages that are pertaining to the Jews.
It is impossible to have a good understanding of the Bible, without having a good understanding of God’s plans and dealings with the Jews. There are literally thousands of passages in the Bible that are speaking of the Jews.
Regardless to the Anti-Semitism that is so prevalent in Western secular philosophy and religion, those who have problems accepting the Jews, have to get over it, and recognize that God’s dealings with the Jews is significant.
The scheme of Covenant Theology discusses their theory of the redemption of man through Grace. And more modern covenant theologians are tending towards only one covenant; the Covenant of Grace instead of the two earlier mentioned; the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace and Redemption.
In their view, the two are comprised in the one, Covenant of Grace. A number of modern covenant theologians like Karl Barth, Klaas Schilder, and John Murray are tending towards a monocovenantal [one covenantal system] scheme subsuming everything under one Covenant of Grace. To them, the focus of all biblical covenants is then on grace and faith.
The Apostolic Faith in Response to Covenant Theology
For the sake of the Apostolic Faith doctrine and our theology, it is crucial for our seminarians, pastors, teachers and apologist to understand the source [Covenant Theology] of Calvinist theology. So that by us seeing the root of Calvinism, in this series [thesis] we will have the insight to properly evaluate Calvinism’s system of interpreting scriptures. Thus, we can know why they do not recognize the context of the passages that they claim as proof-text for their doctrine.
Examples of Interpretations Based on Covenant Theology Instead of Context:
In Romans 9:11 where the context is the lineage of Abraham continuing in Jacob, contrary to that interpretation and insight the Covenant Theology in Calvinism says it’s about the Covenant of Grace and Redemption in the eternal salvation of the elect. In the next book, we will study more examples of the application of the Covenant theological theory in the interpretation of the scriptures that the Calvinist claim as their proof-text.
Historical Documents about Covenant Theology
Helvetic Consensus (1675)
Covenant Theology in Augustine’s writings
Horton, Michael S (2002). "Law, Gospel, and Covenant: Reassessing Some Emerging Antitheses". Westminster Theological Journal 4: 279–87.
Covenant Theology as Calvinism
Classical statements of covenant theology can be found in the British Westminster Confession of Faith (particularly chap. 7, 8, 19), as well as in the writings of English theologians such as John Owen (1616–83), Biblical Theology, and An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The classical statements among 17th century continental theologians include Johannes Cocceius (1603–69) in The Doctrine of the Covenant and Testament of God(Summa doctrinae de foedere et testamento dei, 1648), Francis Turretin (1623–87) in his Institutes of Elenctic Theology, and Hermann Witsius (1636–1708) in The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man. It may also be seen in the writings of Jonathan Edwards (1703–58) in Collected Writings of Jonathan Edwards (Vol 2, Banner of Truth edition, p. 950).
History of Covenant Theology
Concepts foundational to Covenant Theology can be found in the writings of Church Fathers such as Irenaeus and Augustine. Huldrych Zwingli and Johannes Oecolampadius were among the first reformers to speak of God's salvation economy under the categories of a covenant of works and a covenant of grace. John Calvin (Institutes2:9–11), like Heinrich Bullinger (A Brief Exposition of the One and Eternal Testament or Covenant of God), focused on the continuity of the covenant of grace, but taught the substance of what became classic covenant theology in terms of Law and Gospel. Early post-reformation writings, including Zacharius Ursinus (1534–83) in Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (1591), Caspar Olevianus (1536–87)
Anti-Semitism Sentiments of the Third and Fourth Century Church Fathers, that Incubated Covenant Theology,
Describing the Jew’s synagogue, the church fathers felt; "if you call it a brothel, a den of vice, the devil's refuge, Satan's fortress, a place to deprave the soul, an abyss of every conceivable disaster or whatever else you will, you are still saying less than it-deserves." 380
A mob of Christians, at the instigation of their bishop, looted and burned the synagogue in Callinicum, a town on the Euphrates. The Emperor Theodosius wanted those responsible punished and the synagogue rebuilt at the expense of the bishop. But instead of supporting justice,
St. Ambrose used God and the Bible to insist that the Emperor NOT provide justice to the Jewish victims. AD 388
"Saint Ephraem Syrus calls the Jews the 'circumcised dogs' and 'circumcised vagabonds', and refers to Judaism as a worthless vineyard which cannot bear fruit. In his writing, Ephraem refers to God's punishment for the Jews. Because they reviled Jesus, the Lord has banished them from their land, and now they are condemned to wander over the whole face of the earth." [306-373]
St. Augustine writes: "the Church admits and avows the Jewish people to be cursed, because after killing Christ they continue to till the ground of an earthly circumcision, an earthly Sabbath, an earthly Passover, while the hidden strength or virtue of making known Christ, which this tilling contains, is not yielded to the Jews while they continue in impiety and unbelief, for it is revealed in the New Testament. While they will not turn to God, the veil which is on their minds in reading the Old Testament is not taken away. . . the Jewish people, like Cain, continue tilling the ground, in the carnal observance of the law, which does not yield to them its strength, because they do not perceive in it the grace of Christ". A.D. 400.
St. Augustine (c. 354-430 A.D.), Confessions, 12.14
How hateful to me are the enemies of your Scripture! How I wish that you would slay them (the Jews) with your two-edged sword, so that there should be none to oppose your word! Gladly would I have them die to themselves and live to you!
Origen of Alexandria writes that the Jews "have committed the most abominable of crimes" in conspiring against Christ, and for that reason "the Jewish nation was driven from its country, and another people was called by God to the blessed election". * and 'the blood of Jesus falls not only on the Jews of that time, but on all generations of Jews up to the end of the world'. AD 240
Christian emperors of Rome decree that Christians converting to Judaism, and Jews obstructing the conversion of other Jews to Christianity, will incur the death penalty; Jews cannot marry Christians, or hold public office, or own slaves. A.D.
St. Ambrose calls the synagogue "a place of unbelief, a home of impiety, a refuge of insanity, damned by God Himself". A.D.380
The producer of arguably the vilest early anti-Jewish sermons was Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop of Antioch and later Archbishop of Constantinople. He is considered one of the major Church Fathers and is still admired for the beauty of his sermons. Eight of these sermons, which appear as Eight Homilies Against the Jews, are, as their name suggests, violently anti-Jewish... Chrysostom is generally considered the most prominent doctor of the Greek Church and the greatest preacher ever heard in a Christian pulpit. ' 347-407
Antisemitism held by the early church fathers, which was taught by Augustine, lasted through the centuries, and was common in traditional Western Christianity, all of the way up to the reformation period:
Luther's treatise reflected all these factors. The greater part of it was taken up with the interpretation of numerous passages from the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) that Luther claimed must be interpreted as prophecies of Christ, but which the Jews interpreted in a different sense (hence their "lies," in Luther's view). Here, Luther was continuing a debate that had gone on for centuries between Jewish and Christian scholars; but he lent it the special harshness of his own rhetoric. Elements of superstition and half-truths about Jewish practices and alleged anti- Christian rituals were passed in review with mounting ire on Luther's part, until finally he issued his infamous list of proposals-that their synagogues and houses be destroyed, their prayer books seized, and their rabbis forbidden to teach, etc. Although many of these proposals parallel, In a chilling manner, the antisemitic measures later undertaken by the Nazis (not to speak of the many intervening persecutions and pogroms), it should be made clear that Luther did not envision anything like genocide. Luther advised pastors to admonish their parishioners to be wary of the Jews, but he added, "They should not curse them or harm their persons." His ultimate penalty was to expel them from the country.
John Calvin: The Jews, Anti-Semitism, and the Millennial
A Response to Questions and Objections of a Certain Jew
Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.
Excerpt from "Ad Quaelstiones et Objecta Juaei Cuiusdam Responsio," by John Calvin; The Jew in Christian Theology, Gerhard Falk, McFarland and Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC and London, 1931. exterminating the Jewish race.
Thus, in Calvin’s evaluation of Jewish exegesis the issue of the unity of the two
testaments is of central importance. Jewish exegesis is wrong when it fails to see this unity.
I conclude with one of Calvin’s most negative statements concerning contemporary Jews
and Judaism in order to show that at the heart of the rebuke is his crucial objective to
maintain the unity of the two testaments. I quote his infamous statement in the Institutes,
which appears precisely at the closing of his section on the unity of the two testaments:
Nor would the obtuseness of the whole Jewish nation today in awaiting the Messiah’s earthly kingdom be less monstrous, had the Scriptures not foretold long before that they would receive this punishment for having rejected the gospel … http://www.reformedinstitute.org/images/Documents/GSPak.pdf
It must be mentioned here that there was a difference between Luther and Augustine’s doctrine, concerning the Jews relative to the Millennial, and Calvin’s doctrine concerning the Jews relative to the Millennial. Augustine and Luther believed that they [Jews] were totally disinherited.
They were to be vagabonds having no rightful place on earth and most certainly no claim to any reigning on earth. Augustine and Luther, could not see any relationship between the Jews and the Millennial. In their doctrine, they had no gospel for the Jews. Calvin on the other hand, believed that they [the Jews] were disinherited and any plans for a Millennial reign, were out of the question for the Jews. But, however, they could only be included in the Kingdom of God by obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which according to Covenant Theology retroactively covers any standards God had for the Jews in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Calvin was not as harsh on the Jews as Luther was.
Nearly all of the theologians both protestants and Catholics during the reformation period, were more Augustinian and Lutheran, in their thinking about the Jews than they were Calvinist. This was one of the common views believed by Augustine and the Reformers, that cause the Reformers’ unanimous acceptance of Augustine’s doctrines.
Asa Mahan (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 59, Published by Truth in Heart)
Archelaus (Disputation With Manes 32, 33)
Beausobre (The Christian Examiner, Volume One, Published by James Miller, 1824 Edition, p. 70)
Clement (The Ante-Nicean Fathers, Volume Eight, Published by BRCCD, p. 355)
Clement (The Ante-Nicean Fathers, Volume Eight, Published by BRCCD, p. 740)
Clement of Rome (Recognitions of Clement of Rome. 111. 23, V. 8, IX. 30.)
David Bercot (Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up, p. 64, Published by Scroll Publishing)
Dr. Wiggers (An Historical Presentation of Augustinianism and Pelagianism from The Original Sources by G. F. Wiggers, p. 392)
Episcopius (An Equal Check to Pharisaism and Antinomianism by John Fletcher, Volume Two, p. 209, Published by Carlton & Porter)
Eusebius (The Christian Examiner, Volume One, Published by James Miller, 1824 Edition, p. 66)
Eusebius (The Cause of God and Truth by John Gill, 1838 Edition, p. 502)Irenaeus (An Equal Check to Pharisaism and Antinomianism by John Fletcher, Volume Two, p. 207-208, Published by Carlton & Porter)
Hans Jonas (The Gnostic Religion, Published by Beacon Press, p. 227)
Ignatius (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians chap 5 (Long Version)
Ignatius (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians chap 5, Long Version)
Irenaeus (Against Heresies, Book IV, Chapter XXXVII)
Irenaeus (A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 287, Published by Hendrickson Publishers)
Irenaeus (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume One, Published by BRCCD, p. 1117)
Justin Martyr (First Apology Chap. 43)
Lyman Beecher, (Views in Theology, Published by Truman and Smith, 1836 Edition, p. 56)
Methodius (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume Six, Published by BRCCD, p. 696)
Methodius (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume Six, Published by BRCCD, p 698)
Methodius (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume Six, Published by BRCCD, p. 746)
Methodius (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume Six, Published by BRCCD, p. 750)
Justin Martyr (First Apology Chap. 43)
Origen (A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 289, Published by Hendrickson Publishers)
Origen (A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 291, Published by Hendrickson Publishers)
Pelagius (The History of the Church of Christ from the days of the apostles, by Joseph Milner and Thomas Haweis, p. 326)
Tertullian (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 61, Published by Truth in Heart)
About the Author
Bishop Lawrence Brown, Jr. is a modern-day Apostolic Faith apologist. He is the Author of the Romans Ten Nine Question series, 2008, which explains the true meaning of Romans 10:9. In that book he proves that in Romans 10:9 Paul was addressing the Church concerning its creed, not conversion as it is erroneously taught.
He is the chairman of the International Association of Apostolic Apologist IAAA. He teaches theology classes online at Y.A.L.E. institute of the IAAA in Alton Illinois. He is an erudite scholar of the Word of God who has been given by God a keen insight into the understanding of the doctrines of the Bible.
He was the manuscript editor for the writings of the late Bishop James A. Johnson’s Immanuel Series.
His works are highly recommended by a number of scholars to all ministers and teachers of every rank. His commentaries are in the libraries of many Apostolic Faith Bible College and Seminary libraries. They have been published in magazine and news-paper articles. His works have been read by a number of Apostolic Faith leaders and teachers and are highly recommended by such men and women as; Bishop Noel Jones, Bishop Paul H. Bowers, Dr. Johnny James, the late Bishop James A. Johnson, Bishop Paul H. Evans, Bishop Daniel Chavis, Bishop Clifton Jones, Professor Elaine Shouse Waller, Hampton University, Dr. Vanuel C. Little, Bishop Samuel Smith, Chairman of the AWCF, Dr. Robert Douglas, Apostle Larry J. Baylor, Bishop Terence Coleman, Professor Rachael Webb, Dean Bethesda Institute, Professor David Norris, Dean of Urshan Seminary, Dr. David Bernard, Premiere Apostolic Author, Bishop Teklemariam Gezahegne, pastor of the Largest Apostolic Church in the World, Bishop Sherman Merrett,
Bishop Ronald Carter ‘s Bible Institute of New York, Apostle Lawrence Campbell, Virginia State University, Apostle Cornelius Showell, Baltimore Maryland. Bishop Jesse Battle Jr., former President of the Hampton University Ministerial Conference, Bishop Alonso Brooks, Presiding Bishop of The Way of the Cross, International, Bishop Charles Ellis Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., Bishop Lambert Gates, Presiding Bishop of the PCAF, District Elder Carter, Yale University. And a host of others including but not limited to Dr. Gregory Wells, Bishop A John McCoy, Bishop Tommie Harsely, Dr. Art McCoy, Bishop Lawrence Brown, sr.
Brown has been lecturer for a number of doctrinal conferences across the country. He was assigned as a teacher of pastors, ministers, and district elders by Chief Apostle Cornelius Showell, and later assigned by Chief Apostle Floyd Nelson for the International BibleWay Church of Jesus Christ, Inc. Holy Convocation.
Dr. Elain Mcqueen, Dean of W. L. Bonner, College.
He is writing a Systematic Theology series, which shall be offered in an online course in 2018. He is the author of a number of books that apologetically show the validity of the Apostolic Faith, including; The Romans Ten Nine Questions, Speaking in Tongues, Scientific Proof and Initial Evidence, The Theology Behind Israel’s Sabbath, The Millennial Kingdom, The Legitimacy of Women Pastors and Bishops, The Tower of Babel the Scattering and the Gathering, The Real Biblical Doctrine on Marriage and Divorce, A Critical Analysis of the Five Points of Calvinism, TULIP, from an Apostolic Faith Perspective- a Five-book series.