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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Calvinist Teachers/Followers (Reformed Theologians) Are They Unsaved?

The purpose of this article is to clarify my standpoint re my last article entitled: “New Calvinism. Explaining And Exposing This Latest Ecumenical and Apostate Movement Which Is Taking The Church By Storm”   Please Click Here  (to read that article).
Calvin: unsaved?
Whitfield: unsaved?
Spurgeon: unsaved?


Piper: unsaved?

It has come to my attention that readers may think I am suggesting that followers of Calvinism cannot be saved because of  Calvinists pagan Catholic/Augustinian influences and its superimposing gnostic teaching TO the Bible (i.e, twisting the scriptures, effectively adding to and taking away from what the Bible says and therefore removing the true and pure simplicity of the Word of God).

I AM  NOT suggesting that a Calvinist is not saved. I will now address the reasons why I believe that (possibly) MOST Calvinists ARE saved!

In dealing with this question, we need to be careful to always remember HOW one is saved.  I do not know of anyone who becomes a Calvinist, Arminian or of any other belief system BEFORE they receive Jesus as their Saviour.  Usually a believer becomes a Calvinist etc AFTER they come to faith (depending upon what Christian group influence them, at that time).

So……  Before we dare state that Calvinists etc are unsaved, we need to remind ourselves on how is one saved?  The Bible is clear on how to be saved and can be nicely summarised as "for God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have eternal life” and “to all who received Him, who believed on His Name,  He gave them power to become children of God ….. born of God”. John 3:16 and John 1:12-13

So the criteria on being saved is not whether you follow the correct systematic theology (although interpreting the Bible honestly and accurately is extremely important [in these dark days] for various other reasons – explained in many places on this blog) but on whether you have repented, believed upon Jesus and received Him into your heart. If you have done this then you have become an eternal child of God. This means that if you are LATER deceived by any false teaching AFTERWARDS you cannot lose your salvation (you cannot become UNBORN once you have become a new creation in Jesus). However, you will suffer loss in some measure or another by yielding to false teaching.

So,  what does it mean to believe in Jesus?  To believe in Jesus, means:

1) that you believe in who He is with all your heart and mind (God incarnate - the Son of God) and that he was punished by the Father for your sins, died and rose physically from the dead and is alive forevermore

2) that you recognise you are a sinner (as stated above)  who needs to be saved 

3) that you recognise and accept that Jesus's death on the cross was required and is sufficient to save you (personally) from your sins and your sinful nature

4) that you entrust your life to Him

Note: Unless you can acknowledge and recognise that you are lost and dead in your sinfulness (without the intervention of Jesus) you cannot be saved because you are unlikely to repent and put your faith in Jesus.

So here is a list of steps which normally happens automatically when Jesus is drawing you:

1) the realisation that God exists but that you are cut off from Him because of your sinfulness

2) a conviction about the extent of your sinful tendencies and sinful nature. "all we like sheep have gone astray, each to his own way".

3) the realisation that you cannot become good enough by your own efforts to get into heaven but need the mercy of God

4) you sincerely and genuinely cry from your heart to God for mercy for your sins, confessing your sins to God direct (without use of a priest) asking for forgiveness

5)  putting your trust in Jesus (because He has made the ultimate sacrifice for your sins)

Once  1 to 5 occurs, you then simply receive the free gift of salvation from God through believing in and putting your trust in Jesus

6) You invite Jesus to come into your heart and soul to save you. This is simply handing/yielding your soul over to Christ asking Him to live within you. Then "it is no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me".

7) Jesus will fill you with His Holy Spirit so that you will become a new creation. You will be changed deep within  with the Divine nature.

Those like Charles Spurgeon (despite a false Calvinistic theology) are saved because they qualify as per 1 to 7 above.  I believe that once truly born-again we are secure for eternity. Many became born-again, thus saved, but subsequently (like the Galatians) got infected by false theology. The quandary is whether it is possible for a truly born-again believer to be permanently sucked into a false theology without seeing through it (at some point during their walk with God). I mean surely the Holy Spirit will "lead us into all truth"? If they have hardened hearts - maybe they were never born-again, i.e, they never experienced 1 to 7?

Let us now think this through logically and rationally regarding men like Spurgeon, Whitfield etc. Remember that God's truths were lost for more than a thousand years. The availability of the Bible is a recent Christian phenomenon.   It seems like it has taken a very long time to discover all the lost biblical truths. Those like Charles Spurgeon were MAYBE the closest to unravelling the Bible truths of their time.

Maybe in their fight against the Roman Church they sincerely believed that Calvinism was an accurate interpretation of scripture, exposing the “works” “indulgencies” heresy of Rome. What else did they have to measure the accuracy of that theology? If men like Charles Spurgeon were not saved then that would probably mean that God did not save ANYBODY (apart from maybe just a handful of those like Ana Baptists) for a thousand years. Does that sound possible? Even in Elijah's day when it seemed that he was the only one, God made it clear that there were (quite a large number really) 7000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal.

All of us at some stage in our Christian lives have taught incorrectly because we see through a glass dimly. We are all learners of God's Word. If we were perfect in our teaching we would not need to learn, but WE DO need to learn. So, if we have or will teach error does that mean we are all false teachers? When the scriptures warn us about false teachers it is surely talking about those who give false teaching from an unregenerate/unsaved  condition. It is possible for the saved to give false teaching but it does not make them unsaved false teachers. Whereas, those who deliberately deceive are probably unsaved. I think this is what Jesus was referring to when He said "judge not". We are to test (judge) false teaching but NOT judge the heart of the teacher.

Those people I have listed (on my blog) as probably false teachers are there because of their ecumenical links with Rome.  I have listed them so that readers may check these leaders out for themselves. I cannot know the heart condition of all these people, so cannot know whether they were ever born-again or not. I would say that probably most of them are unsaved because of their deliberate false teachings and their ecumenical message and  practices which suggest they deliberately follow an ecumenical (Roman) road to salvation. 

However, some of them may have been saved but at the moment are ignorantly (but sincerely) following those false organisations. Surely God will bring the truly saved ones out of this at some stage. Those that "know" what they are doing (probably Vatican infiltrates or Jesuits) are showing that they are unsaved (never regenerated) false teachers by their deliberate false message (which also contains a lot of truth but mixed with poison).

Remember, some who get on the ecumenical train have been ignorantly persuaded AFTER they were born-again. For example. If a truly born babe in Christ in child-like faith has trusted upon Jesus ONLY for salvation by grace and have believed the right things about Jesus, they ARE born-again into God's kingdom and they will remain His child for eternity and God will watch over them, protecting them from falling away. However, subsequently (for a period of time) they may be exposed to say reformed theology or to dominionism/replacementism etc, by those discipling them and in child-like faith may trust their teachers that these things are scriptural. Does that then nullify their salvation?  Of course not!  I mean, what they NOW believe does not change the fact that they HAVE already been saved and are therefore an eternal child of God, does it?

For evidence regarding the eternal security of believers, please Click Here  which is an article on that subject.

Anyway, my list is mainly to show what organisations are ecumenical and to watch out for those who are leaders of those organisations or those who are associated with them.

Regarding the teachers of reformed theology. The general teaching and building blocks may be false but do they actually teach against the foundations of how one can be saved? Don't Calvinists teach that Jesus is the Only way to salvation, that He died on the cross to save us from our sins, rose again physically and that we need to put our trust in Jesus ALONE for our salvation through His grace etc. If they teach the basics of "how to be saved" correctly and if they have all repented and put their faith in Jesus becoming born-again receiving the Holy Spirit, doesn't that mean they are our brothers and NOT false brethren/teachers, despite their iffy other teachings? Those that teach that the RC is Christian demonstrate (to me) that they ARE false but those calvinists which actively/truthfully/unpretentiously oppose Rome show by contending for the true faith demonstrate that they are true brethren.

However, we should still contend earnestly for bible truths, proving that the overall teaching of reformed theology is not biblical, but I am cautious about calling people like Charles Spurgeon false brethren because they DID teach the basics correctly. A false teacher is someone who denies the basics of how to be saved or twists it, or removes some important parts or adds to it.

There is also a difference between the false teachers (who know exactly what they are doing) and those who are ignorantly being deceived. Those like Rushdoony are clearly from the ilk of Rome, but those who follow the teaching may not know/realise/understand the deception. The deliberate false teacher may possibly be unsaved but it doesn't mean the followers are unsaved - especially if they were truly born-again. As Jesus said  "a time is coming when even the elect (if possible) will be deceived". We are in that time when it is very difficult to distinguish truth from error - especially if the sheep do not know their Bible.


Burning Lamp said...

John, thank you for your comments on this. IMHO men such as Spurgeon are surely saved, but the crop of "New Calvinists" such as the ilk of Mark Driscoll are a different matter. However, I wonder about R.C. Sproul for instance who is an absolute purveyer or a false gospel.

We must not forget that Calvinism/Reformed IS a false gospel and that no one can be saved through a false gospel. One can certainly fall into false teaching for a time after being genuinely saved, but to remain there with full knowledge is quite different. To the truly born-again, the Holy Spirit will reveal truth.

Unknown said...

Thanks BL

Someone wrote to my personal email address regarding these last two articles. This was my reply, which seems appropriate:

I totally agree that we are lost "dead in our trespasses and sins" and unable to save ourselves and depraved but would disagree that we are TOTALLY depraved.

God has given us freewill and a capability to choose or reject Him. Only Jesus (through the Holy Spirit) can convict us of sin and awaken our souls sufficient enough to be able to choose or reject Him.

Who can resist the Will of the Lord? Yet, it is clear it IS possible because Peter said that it is not God's will that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance.

If God does not want any to perish and if His Will cannot be resisted then why are most on the wide road to destruction? I would say that God (out of His immense love) reaches out to all men (many are called) but has never taken from them their own freewill - at least not until they are born-again.

When we are born again "it is no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me" "He who works in us to will and to act according to His own good pleasure".

I believe that God's Word goes out and by the power of the Holy Spirit people come under conviction of sin. Those who (under this power of God and through God's help) repent and turn to Him will experience new birth, but those (although somewhat awakened) who choose to harden their hearts (at that time) and not repent will NOT be saved (at that time) and are in danger of hardening their hearts to God forever and less able to respond to God's call in the future. Although all things are possible with God.

God knows from the beginning of the Earth who will choose Him and who will reject Him. I believe the elect are those who are destined (not pre elected) to choose Him (because God knows beforehand who will choose Him). Therefore, all those who will choose Him (out of freewill) are already known by God and are effectively sealed in advance to become children of God in the future and at that time (which is known by God) when He will regenerate them.

"all whom the father gives me will come to me and those who come to me I will not cast out" That effectively means that those who the Father foreknew would (out of freewill) choose Him WILL come to Jesus and receive salvation that CANNOT be lost i.e, eternal security.

As you can see, I am neither a Calvinist nor an Arminian. I take my position from no man's systematic theology, but from the Bible direct.

The Arminians will probably call me Calvinist and the Calvinists probably call me Arminian.

Unknown said...

Just in case someone wonders about my comment regarding the freewill of born-again believers, I need to clarify.

I didn't mean that born again believers no longer have freewill.

I should have said that if it is possible for anybody to lose their freewill it is more likely to be those who choose to yield their freewill to God and allow Him to live out HIS WILL in us.

That is why I quoted those two verses.

I certainly am NOT suggesting that those believers who hold on to their own freewill and do not submit it to God, are not saved.

Yielding our Will to God's Will is a lifetime process by the Holy Spirit working within us.

BL said...

John, it is ironic that the common concensus only acknowledges two camps, Calvinist & Armininian when in fact the most biblical stance is between the two extremes. I never did care for labels, but we do have to call it what it is.

That would be called balanced. Maybe you could say you are Calarminian? Just joking! Thanks for standing for truth.

John Chingford said...


If I have to be labelled I guess I would call myself an anti-calarminian biblical theologist because both Calvinism and Arminianism are in error because they have both carried forward some of the influence of Rome and both twist the scriptures to make it fit in with their theological system, rather than formulate their theology direct from the Bible.

I received another email from another of my email contacts, to my email address. This was my reply which I would like to share with you all:

Did I state that doctrine was not important??? Of course doctrine (per correct interpretation of the Bible) is vital.

The point I was making is that if faith and repentance (followed by new birth) leads to eternal salvation then we cannot be unborn or lose our salvation by some faulty misunderstandings on "how we were saved".

My reasoning is that we didn't need to understand/agree with Calvin's TULIP before we were saved. TULIP (which is false unscriptural teaching) simply tries to explain about the outworkings of salvation and is NOT helpful for the child of God's development and will keep them as "babes" but it doesn't cause them to lose their salvation if they are truly already a child of God.

However correct reading of the scriptures will prevent us from being deceived by false teachers.

The text you quoted:

"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee"

is not referring to salvation from hell and sin. The word "save" can be understood in different ways. The context will determine its meaning. For example, Paul says that women will be saved through child bearing. Clearly he was not talking about salvation from sin and hell but probably that we all need purpose in our lives to save us from futile lives.

In the case of the text you quoted, it is referring to being saved from the horrors of deception. Believers can suffer much needlessly by walking away from the path set before them and following false teachings. It can impact on their relationship with God and cause them to be vulnerable to demons, leading them to lose much.

However, Paul said that many enter heaven through the flames 1 Cor 3:14-15

"If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames"

By keeping close to the Lord and to the scriptures we can avoid that sort of dire entrance to heaven.

The NT was written mostly in Greek. In Greek the word for salvation has 3 tenses: past, present and future. We HAVE been saved, we are BEING saved and we SHALL be saved.

Salvation is an ongoing work by God's power in us. From the moment that we are first saved we WILL be saved in the future because God is at work in us and He has promised to complete that work of salvation in us. The work of salvation taking place at the moment is the work of changing us from one degree of glory to another, by sanctification, justification, glorification.

We will experience the full result/benefits of our salvation in Heaven, when we will be finally saved, but in the meanwhile we are being kept and this is our assurance NOW that we cannot lose what we WILL receive later.

Therefore, keeping close to correct doctrine will save us from any loss in sanctification and glorification (although our justification is certain). See Romans 8:29-30

FREE GRACE said...

Calvinisms Eternal Security means Gods Elect are chosen by God and predestined to be saved forever by the assured Perseverance works of this elect which has nothing to do with being saved by Gods Grace alone through FAITH alone and not of any works at all. It is by an act of our OWN freewill we have to accept the free gift of Salvation from sin, which is putting our faith in Jesus to save us from sin. That act of faith in Jesus to save is what assures our salvation is secure FOREVER, kept by the power of God. Thats very different to Calvinisms idea who make good works the proof of salvation because their good works is the only assurance they have got that they might be saved, otherwise they wont find out until they die if they are one of the chosen elect or not. If they aren’t then they believe God fooled them into thinking they were chosen for salvation, but instead they are one of those that God has chosen to go to hell.

By Grace alone through Faith alone – no works to be saved and no works to be kept saved either pre or post Salvation is Biblical Salvation.

James J. Fire said...

Greetings brother John, brother James here - hmmm, James and John: good team, sons of thunder and all that! ; )
Thank you for all your hard work in this site of yours! May the LORD bless you as you serve Him in this capacity. I am greatly encouraged in knowing your zeal, enthusiasm, good will, and love for the LORD and for His saints in providing this ministry.
I am also quite impressed with the fact that you and I are for the most part 'on the same page' theologically. We are also 'on the same page' in our desire to serve the LORD in this particular venue, as I am a blog writer myself. I sent you a private email with the web links to the blogs I write for, so I won't duplicate them here (besides, it would seem rather self-promoting, don't you think?).
Like yourself I am neither Calvinist nor Armenian. When I became a Christian over thirty years ago, it was early on in my walk with the LORD that I was handed two books that presented both views. Going from one to the other left me baffled, confused and bewildered, until out of frustration, I pushed those books aside and reached for my Bible - just to get the pure Word of God w/o the interpretational trappings of theologians.
I strongly agree that as we willingly die to self, a choice we must all make - whether to walk in the Spirit or fulfill the lusts of the flesh - we are surrendering our will to the LORD, so that Christ lives in me (more fully as I am increasingly sanctified in Him) and not I (Gal. 2:20). I've often used an acronym which the LORD gave me after I finished reading Andrew Murray's little but powerful book, Absolute Surrender: A.V.R.A.S. = Absolute Victory (in life) Requires Absolute Surrender (to Christ). Once again brother John, THANK YOU, GOD BLESS YOU - WAY TOO MUCH! And I look forward to further blessed interactions and iron sharpening!

Unknown said...

Thanks James

I hope that we can indeed work together in the work of the Kingdom.

Thanks for that encouragement.

Please feel free to use my articles on your blog's, BUT please ensure you leave a shortcut link to these articles because sometimes (from time to time) I discover paragraphs which need to be edited for the sake of avoiding misunderstandings.

Therefore, it is important that your readers have a chance to see the edited version for themselves.

I took a brief look at your site and notice that you advertise Koinonia House and seem to endorse Chuck Missler.

Would you please take time to look at the following blog which exposes Chuck Missler's links with Rome and New Age. The author has gone into great lengths and depths to uncover all this and the evidence is clearly there (for all to see) within a great many of his articles.

Also please note the comments above and the other links.

I assume that you are unaware of these things. As you seem a friendly chap and seem to be a seeker of truth, I guess you will be keen to see these things.

This is why I inform you. Please let me know what you think

God bless my brother.
John Chingford

Unknown said...

Sorry, an error by me.

I stated "Also please note the comments above and the other links."

Actually, the comments I was referring to was on another article which covered the same material. Please read the latter comments within the following article:

"Are The Global Leaders Nephilim?" on:

Unknown said...

Just remembered what clinched the deal for me regarding Chuck Missler. Please take a look at this link:

which is the speaking schedule at the Red River Conference in March.

You will see that Chuck Missler is speaking 4 times. Notice his 4 topics:

The Macrocosm , The Microcosm, The Metacosm and Transhumanism: The Age of the Hybrids

What has all this got to do with the Bible?

I noticed that he has links with conferences to do with quantum leaps, i.e, the new age theory that humans are turning into gods which is the Latter Rain teaching of manifest sons of God, Joels Army etc. Latter rain has a long time ecumenical involvement. What is Chuck doing getting involved in all this new age, ecumenical, Jesuit claptrap?

I am aware of CM's obsession with Nephilim theory and support of extra terrestrial books like Enoch.

I also noticed that CM is also politically involved with CNP "Council For National Policy".You should check out CNP. Very worrying! Here is the link:

Please be careful in communicating with Chuck Missler because quite a number of discernment ministries and (previously) sound preachers have suddenly fallen away or become ecumenical or kept very silent about CM. It seems like they may have been threatened in some way.

He seems to have hidden political and military powers at his disposal. You can see that by looking at his CV and checking the SWANsat site which reveals that he is very much behind the control of nations through satellites.

Further, he may in some way be involved with the occultic Galactic roundtable because he is a joint Director at SWANsat with William Welty who IS involved with Galactic Roundtable

Please (for the sake of our true brothers) be protective of our brethren. Remember Paul told us to be wary of false brothers who are seeking our harm.

Please be wise in how you communicate this message to others.

To me, the above seems very convincing. If I an not seeing something which excuses him, please let me know.

God bless

Colin said...

May God bless you John, I am interested what you have said here regarding Chuck Missler. I am sure that you would agree with me that he is a very intelligent and gifted speaker.

I have been a believer for about eleven years now and spent many hours watching his DVDs and videos trying to make 'sense' of the Abiding Word of God, I felt I had to fast track as I was about 44 when my wife bought his teaching materials.

I also was studying much else especially A.W.Pink, nearly but not quite exhausting his books! I have learnt much from him but departed from his eschatalogical views. Pink has been villified for his so-called Calvinistic beliefs yet he was against 'Hyper Calvinism' just as today I would adopt the same stance agfainst 'Hyper dispensationalism'!

When trying to get to grips with this conundrum of 'Pre-destination vs free will' Chuck Missler quoted a statement which made total sense to me. He said that; 'Calvinism and Arminianism are both correct in what they assert,but incorrect in what they deny'. Such is this tension in the Abiding Word of God!

Subsequently I discovered that Chuck along with many others got caught up in the so-called Y2K trap.

Also I have read in various places that his Church system is caught up in various errors. The problem as I see it is that there are many that depart from the simple teaching of the Word of God who for the sake of titillating their congregations and subscribers feel that they have to engage in sensationalism, and some 'new thing' in order to keep their interest?

As regards Reformed Churches, recently I have had dialogue (in person as well as online) with many Reformed Baptist Ministers. Two I know personally. I have many a time asked what they do with the great Millenial prophecies which obviously haven't been fulfilled,and the fact that they believe that Satan is currently bound, how do they explain the rampant deception etc that is deceiving the world!

The way they spiritualise or allegorise the scriptures is breathtaking even to a simpleton like me! They actually believe that Satan IS bound now and that we are in the 1000 year reign which they say is only symbolic!

These people believe that I am the deluded one because obviously I haven't been to bible college. I can understand the vital import of James 3.1. Their protesting against Rome stopped too long ago.......... Yours in Christ Colin

Unknown said...

Hi Colin

Welcome and thanks for your contribution.

I have a few things I would like to reply to (most of what you have said I agree with) and I think MAYBE my reply here will tie most of it all up.

In putting together my preceding article (to this one) I observed the conversation and jargon of Calvinists. They were discussing the "TENSIONS" within scripture.

Actually, as fare as I see it, there are NO tensions. The tensions are there for Calvinists (and Arminians) because they are seeking to thrust and jam their theology or theological system into the Bible, like trying to fit a large square into a round hole.

Of course it cannot be done because the approach is ALL wrong, so you will have a tension. It is wrong to adapt any preconceived theological ideas about God and His truth OUTSIDE of the Bible. If you look into the history of Calvinism and Arminianism you will see that that is exactly what they did. IT IS WRONG!

The Bible alone should formulate our theology and not preconceived notions from those "so-called" experts who are actually admitting they have it wrong by saying "there are tensions".

If we study the bible (for ourselves) without preconceived interference brainwashing us, I think you will find there are NO tensions because we are letting the Bible speak to us FIRST-HAND!

Regarding Chuck Missler. I agree he is a very intelligent man. That is the problem! As the scriptures teach "knowledge puffs up, but love builds up". I believe that is saying that JUST seeking knowledge without humility and love simply makes one proud and builds the ego.

No-one is disputing his intelligence. The problem is how he is using it. He is now using it for a godless ulterior motive.

Chucks comment (which you quoted) i.e, "Calvinism and Arminianism are both correct in what they assert,but incorrect in what they deny" sounds like nonsense to me and a real "cop-out" i.e, trying to be too diplomatic.

They both assert irreconcilable differences, so it is impossible for them to both be correct!

The fact is that both Calvinism and Arminianism are wrong because they study the bible after already standing upon a preconceived position. Therefore, instead of allowing the Bible to dictate their theology they simply ignore all scripture that does not fit the theological system they have.

Having said that, they do both contain elements of truth just as a poisoned meal contains some really nice food. The difference is that a poisoned meal contains mostly good food, but their theologies do not contain anywhere near as much good food.

Bless you brother.

Colin said...

Just to follow on from what I said.

As blood bought believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we KNOW that we are saved by His grace alone not by any effort on our part WHATSOEVER.

However unlike the repentant thief on the cross we could have many years on earth before the restitution of all things; Acts 3.21.

What do we do with this time? We have to 'work OUT our salvation with fear and trembling';Phillipians 2.12, NOT work for it.

The days are evil and verily I hang my head in shame at every lost oportunity to glorify God

Daily we should cry out to God as the apostles did to 'Increase our faith';Luke 17.5.

I believe that a lot of these teachers are deceived and preaching untruths. How can it be a light thing to teach error? It is all well and good to say the oft quoted 'As long as we all love the Lord it really doesn't matter,He knows our hearts'. Very true!, read Jeremiah 17.9. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

Unknown said...


Colin said...

John, That was an excellent synopsis if I may say so.

There are many excellent teachings within the tenets of Calvinism as I know that you are well aware. It is the A-Millenial aspect which I find very troubling.

When I consider the thoughts and feelings that I have harboured over the years (Much,much less so recently, being in Christ! Praise the Lord!)I find the first teaching of 'Total depravity' not difficult to accept.

Without going through the rest of 'TULIP', briefly I would say regards pre destination, as I believe in the total and absolute Sovereignty of God, I don't find it difficult to accept the doctrine of pre-destination (it IS biblical), that said, we still have a personal responsibility to the Lord as regards Matthew 28.19-20 etc.

I often say to my family that as God is outside of time and because of the prophets and the book of Revelation etc, then logically in God's eyes everything that is going to happen has already happened.

When I read and watch the news I see Christianity under constant attack in one form or another (a confirmation,if we needed one, of the inerrancy of the prophetic Word). We should be witnessing to unbelievers,ofcourse.

However I have three days ago left a Christian conference; 'Truth for Youth' in Devon where the main speaker was Justin Peters. An excellent speaker, a powerful message he presents, more so because of his disability.

I know God is using such people as him to combat this wicked Word Faith movement and other such adherents. However I often wonder how many Christians are falling by the wayside because of the scale of false preaching and books authored by apostate teachers etc that are constantly infiltrating the market place.

Justin as you know 'names and shames' false teachers with a biblical mandate. In his message he was saying that most of proffessing Christianity isn't Christian at all. I know that my 16 year old daughter was quite affected by what he said (in a positive way) as she has friends that go to Charismatic Pentecostal Churches that are heavily into deception.......... Yours in Christ Colin

Unknown said...

Hi Colin

Have you read my previous article regarding New Calvinism? In there you will see that I covered a number of those points (which you just mentioned)about why Calvinists ideas of predestination are all wrong and unscriptural. They read it to mean that we are pre elected before the World was made. However, Ephesians gives us much more clarity. It says we were predestined to become (not pre-elected). Getting the context it means that the GRACE, BENEFITS, GIFTS were predestined to be given to the church for its upbuilding, to those who will believe in His Name.

This following pdf file gives an excellent explanation as to why all 5 petals of TULIP are unscriptural and why Arminianism is also in error. That pdf file can also be found within my previous article:

It is entitled: "Basic Reformed Theology Explained and Exposed"

and found on this link:

Please take a look at let me know what you think.

Unknown said...

In my previous article I gave my explanation of what the Bible means by predestination, foreknew, election etc.

Colin said...

John, Yes I will read what your article has to say about these doctrines of Calvin. There looks like a lot to read! I shall look through and report back some time soon!

Colin said...

John, Just reading briefly through what you have written I can see why I raised a red flag when I mentioned 'TULIP'!

Perhaps it was unwise of me. I am NOT a Calvinist, but having said that I do hold to the biblical aspects of the system. I think up to a point it is most regrettable that we have to identify each other with labels etc.

I most certainly believe that Satan is NOT currently bound and that the coming glorious 1000 year Messianic reign is yet future. I certainly do NOT hold to replacement theology, for Romans 11 clearly teaches that God has NOT finished with Israel.

I was recently in conversation with a certain gentleman. We were getting on fine in total agreement on matters such as the wickedness of Islam,the rise of homosexuality,abortion and euthanasia. Then he said he was a practicing Roman Catholic!..............

Unknown said...

Hi Colin

You are in the best position, i.e, not brainwashed into any specific theological system and open enough (not too proud) to learn truths as they are presented to you. that is one mark of humility.

Regarding the Catholic gentleman. See how some of them can easily slip into our midst almost unrecognisable by agreeing with us. Have you read the Jesuit oath?

On morality matters they may well present a front over specific things in asgreement with us. I mean they are just as concerned about the spread of Islam, as we are. Obviously! If it affects their dominionistic agenda.

God bless

Unknown said...


an "anonymous" reader (co contributor at Shofar blog)gives their greetings to you.

Just for the record (so that you know)I cannot endorse that blog anymore because of the direction that blog has taken over the last year. In fact it seems to be on similar lines of teaching as that of CM.

God bless

Colin said...

Hello John,
Greetings to anonymous! Whoever he/she is!

I get awfully confused when in dialogue with anonymous, as there are several of them. I am not a prolific blogger, but visit these sort of places only for the simple reason (I admit it is sad)I don't go to Church. Yes there are a few around here but they are nothing more than social clubs or Anglican/Roman etc!

Earlier I was reading something interesting here about 'Prophetic huddles' or something like that, but it has dissappeared. I may check out later.

God bless


As regards Shofar. There are some very interesting articles there

Unknown said...

Hi Colin

I think there are more people called "anonymous" in the world than, "Smith", Jones" or even "Patel".
I once played a cricket match against a team called "Patel XI". Every single player was called Patel. When they called for a catch it was confusing "Patel's ball".

Being serious now:
Yes I agree that there are some good news items there. I still occasionally check on his findings.

But because of the other very questionable topics of conversation and his "straw man" method of discrediting those who disagree with him and his theological position I cannot endorse his site.

I don't want to be the cause of an unsuspecting babe in Christ getting their faith disturbed by some of the content there.

Regarding the missing article. It has been heavily edited and retitled and put further down the page. It's a long story, but I felt it needed to be done.

God bless

Anonymous said...

Hiya Colin and John

John, I also don't like to post on Shofar but I read the comments. May I ask a question to Colin here instead about what he said on Shofar about the 2 witness of the 1260 days?

Unknown said...

Hi Anonymous

Thanks for writing.

Just to let you know that I have edited your comment to an abbreviated version because I didn't want this article to get sidetracked into the eschatological topic.

I have another article on that subject if you would like to ask your questions there instead. The appropriate article can be found on:

I will now go and post your comment there instead.

Colin, would you also like to join anon there?

However, please keep it nice and friendly. I know that topic can get heated, so I will monitor but will not get involved because that isn't the main purpose of this blog

Colin said...

John maybe you could articulate what the 'main purpose' of your blog is? I hope and believe you will say its ultimate aim is to glorify God and hopefully bring sinners to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (lets face it we don't know who visits your site!).

What are we to do with the 'End times prophecies'? Dismiss them? The warnings in the gospel narratives in Matt 24,Mark 13,Luke 21 and other places in the epistles are there as I am no doubt you are aware there to warn us? Yours in Christ Colin

Unknown said...

Hi Colin

I have modified your comment according to the instructions under "please leave your comment".

That doesn't mean that there was anything specifically wrong with the rest of your contents, but what I have observed from other Prophecy blogs is that some people are very sensitive and DO overreact many times and sometimes in unbiblical ways. None of that glorifies the Lord.

Although Christians are born-again and become a new creation in Christ Jesus with the potential of living like Christ, they are NOT Christ and never will be, because they still live in vulnerable sinful human bodies and sometimes still succumb to the sinful nature, although the Holy Spirit is changing them daily into the image of Christ.

So we do need to show mercy, grace and patience to one another in love. I felt that some of your words (though okay) may have led to a reaction that would not have glorified the Lord.

Getting back to your (published) last comment:

The purpose of this blog has been explained in many places, but specifically under the header on the home page which says:

"Purpose of this blog is to equip, edify and encourage born-again Christians so they can be effective in their witness. Along with topical type Bible teaching, it will supply other tools(inc videos)to inform,warn and alert believers within these last days of deception. It exposes the dangers of heresy,apostate church,ecumenism and deception.It also presents arguments against atheism and faulty evolutionary teaching, plus why the Bible can be trusted as the WORD OF GOD."

Regarding the whole area of eschatology, I have fully explained where this blog stands on that and the reasons for that in the article

"My Rapture and End Times Stance". I gave the url address on my previous comment.

Please carefully read there why this blog's focus is not overly on that subject.

This blog is easily accessible to anybody throughout the whole World, so absolutely anybody could be reading and replying to our comments, Christians or unbelievers. Always bear that in mind. Thanks

Please now go to that "rapture" article to resume any discussions regarding the timing of the rapture and the Tribulation etc. But, I ask that all parties read properly and consider very carefully what each other is saying and be humble enough to learn from each other, if there are any convincing points made, so that the discussion will be pleasant.

Unknown said...

Just to clarify

The ultimate purpose of the blog IS to glorify the Lord.

I desire and pray that God will use it to save sinners, transform and prepare God's people for their life and ministry here and prepare them to be ready for eternity.

Know the Truth said...

What’s Wrong with Lordship Salvation?
Prof. Andy Woods.

Andrew Bowman said...


I have to say that I wonder what the purpose of this article is. But let me take you up on one point - you say "You invite Jesus to come into your heart and soul to save you". Where is the Biblical basis for that? The Bible says "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall me saved" - nothing more. And it also says "Do not go beyond what is written" !!

More generally, I recognise that Calvinism is a historic and accepted evangelical theological viewpoint that many Christians have subscribed to. The same is true for Arminianism. So I don't it's an appropriate way of discussing the matter to suggest that one camp or the other are unsaved (some of the commentators do this more than you do). We have to treat people with love and respect, especially when they are evangelicals and their beliefs are derived from the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Bowman
That is right, we have to believe in Jesus to save us from sin and anyone who does that IS saved whatever church they go to.(or don't go to even) No where does it say to ask him into the heart, nor ask him to be lord. Its not in any verses at all. People make it so hard and God has made it so easy and thats why its hard I reckon. Gods Grace is more than enough. Praise God.

Unknown said...

Hi Andrew and Anon

You state that the bible never says that we need to invite Jesus into our hearts. Well......, actually it does! It may not use those exact words but there are many verses of scripture which basically say that we need to invite Jesus into our hearts.

I will start with John 14:23

"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him"

John 14:17
"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you"

At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, andI in you

The above is a wonderful chapter of scripture which shows Jesus discussing the oneness of the Father Son and Holy Spirit. Of course He is referring to the Holy Spirit when He states that He will be inside us.

It is impossible for the fullness of Jesus to be in each and every believer because He has been seated in Heaven ever since the ascension and will continue to do so until His return at the Second Coming, but He HAS left us the Holy Spirit as our comforter. Basically, when we state that we need to receive Jesus into our hearts we are basically referring to receiving the Spirit of Jesus into our hearts.

In fact, no-one can be saved until they receive the Holy Spirit

Here is some scripture to prove this:

John 17:23
Jesus prays to the Father about us:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one

Romans 8:9 says
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his

Look at verse 10 which starts with:
And if Christ be in you

“If Christ be in you”. Why doesn’t it say “if the Holy Spirit be in you”?“

I could go on throughout the NT showing that we cannot be saved unless we receive Jesus (aka receiving the Holy Spirit) into our hearts. Acts 19:2-3 is very revealing.

Paul went into Ephesus and found some believers who had not yet received the Holy Spirit. They had repented under John the Baptist’s preaching and believed on the one who was to die for them, but had never actually received Jesus as their Saviour. Remember Paul said in Romans 8 9-10 that no-one can belong to Christ i.e, be saved until they receive Christ into their hearts. Now you see Paul basically telling the Ephesians that they need to receive the Holy Spirit and be “rebaptised” into Jesus i.e, the Baptism of repentance ALONE was not enough, they still needed to receive Jesus into their hearts to be saved.

See what the result was in the next 3 verses especially 5-6

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them

Although you are correct that there are no specific verse (that I can recall) that says “you need to receive Jesus into your hearts to be saved” it is clear that the scriptures DO spell this out!

God bless

BL said...

John, you are correct and these verses although they don't actually say "heart", it is commonly understood what asking Him into our heart means. Yes, it is inviting the Holy Spirit to come and indwell our hearts, our very being.

Andrew's comment may have been referring to Lordship Salvation. What is meant by acknowledging Jesus as Lord is that He is God. That is critical to proper belief, that He was God incarnate and came to us in the flesh to be our sacrifice for sin. He was not merely a man - He was fully God and fully man. This must be acknowledged.Then as He sanctifies us and we grow in Him, we learn to make Him Lord of our lives.

Unknown said...

Hi Everyone

Here is an update regarding what I wrote on the comment above on 15 Feb 2012. To save you time just use this following link which will take you there directly:

Chuck Missler has now spoken at the Red River Conference. The link I gave above which was

has now been removed by that site. However, I have been handed a review of Chuck Missler's messages at that conference.

I think you will find that it is VERY disturbing.

This is the link:

Unknown said...

Hi Burning Lamp

You said something interesting as the first comment to this article. I failed to notice the significance of what you said. There may be some truth in what you said, but it raises questions in my mind.. You said:

"We must not forget that Calvinism/Reformed IS a false gospel and that no one can be saved through a false gospel. One can certainly fall into false teaching for a time after being genuinely saved, but to remain there with full knowledge is quite different. To the truly born-again, the Holy Spirit will reveal truth."

Here are my thoughts:

Is it true that the gospel message that Calvinists preach is a false gospel?

Certainly their understanding of the grace of God is way out, but the actual message they give in evangelism is basically the same as ours, isn't it? i.e whoever believes on the Lord Jesus will be saved from their sins and be given eternal life, that Jesus suffered the penalty for our sins on the cross (so that we can be eternally forgiven), died in our place and rose from the dead physically, He IS the Son of God etc.

Their basic gospel message to the unbeliever is the same as ours. So therefore, surely IT IS possible for sinners to be saved by their gospel message?

Where Calvinists are in serious error is in how they disciple these new believers filling their minds with unscriptural nonsense. They AFTERWARDS go beyond the simple gospel message and confuse the new believers, brainwashing them into a theological system rather than in genuine bible study.

It was also my experience that I got my head filled with many teachings of error and believed some of these for a number of years.

The difference with me is that I associated with believers from many denominations and heard many conflicting viewpoints. This opened my eyes that there was not just one theological position but many which meant some of them must be wrong.

My response was always to seek God in prayer asking God to reveal the truth direct through His Word.

Who knows where i might be if I was never exposed to any other theological position other than calvinism.

I may have well become brainwashed into that system also.

I agree with you that those who are truly born of God will be led by the Holy Spirit into real truth. However, we are always learning and still have many things wrong. I believe that if a person is truly born of God they will pull away from Calvinism sooner or later.

For those who have been entrenched into calvinism it may take a lot longer. Just because they are calvinists NOW does not mean they were never born again.

However, such a person may simply call themselves a partial calvinist (just like I did) and just believe in the OSAS part.

Burning Lamp said...

This is indeed a thorny question, that of salvation and Calvinism. You present some good points for pondering and you come from the perspective of having had your toe in the water. I have been researching the life stories of missionaries who have gone before and many of them were Presbyterians. They were certainly men of valor and courage and served the Lord. It is impossible to critque how they went about sharing the Gospel.

There is the case of Spurgeon who has affirmed his devotion to TULIP in his various writings. According to his testimony, he became versed in TULIP some time after his conversion so obviously he was not saved by TULIP as he later asserts IS the Gospel! We could name example after example of those who started out on the right path and then were deceived and got into doctrines that take Scriptures out of context and distort them.

Burning Lamp said...


If anyone was saved through the preaching of a Calvinist it is because of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Their salvation message may be similar in some cases although the motivation behind it is much different from true evangelists.

They preach out of duty but most probably don’t believe it will make any difference because God has already chosen the ones He wants to save and the others………..well too bad, they're going to hell, but I am chosen and boy am I glad.

It is like going through the motions when the conclusion is already a reality. Doesn’t make a whole lot of horse sense or spiritually speaking, is downright false.

They don’t believe in having the convert confess with their mouth as the Bible instructs, because that would go against their doctrine of Irresistible Grace. They are adamantly opposed to what is commonly referred to as a “sinner’s prayer”.

They are right in one respect that such a prayer doesn’t save anyone, but the Bible does say to confess with one’s mouth which obviously calls for one to make a choice and verbalize what is in their heart. But that would require a decision or an action on the part of a depraved person and God would have to put the words in their mouth so to speak.

This is my understanding as to evangelism. The Gospel is delivered clearly and comprehensively using the Word of God and requires a DECISION/CHOICE on the part of the hearer. He/she will either respond to the convicting of the Holy Spirit or reject God’s free gift of salvation. This is not Arminianism – the truth is found between 2 extremes. The Calvinist would say that God is doing the choosing, but that is a lie.

IMHO effective evangelists ask key questions to find out if the person has received and understood the message and agrees with the tenets of the Gospel. Then and only then are they led in a prayer, not a prayer for salvation, but rather a confession/profession of faith that reflects what has already occurred in their heart.

I think you will find some inconsistency amongst Calvinists and their approach to the gospel message. One such site is an example of a Calvinist gospel tract. It is a collection of pet verses and a glaring exclusion of John 3:16.

Another angle to the question of how Calvinists present the Gospel is that many of them consider TULIP to BE the gospel.
For example, Spurgeon said: “There is no such thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what…is called Calvinism…It is a nickname to call it Calvinism: Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.” That is how you will find the gospel presented in the tract referenced above.

On a more modern note, John Piper says: “The doctrines of grace (TULIP) are the warp and the woof of the biblical gospel that so many saints have cherished for centuries.”

Calvinist Arthur Custance says: “Calvinism is the Gospel and to teach Calvinism is in fact to preach the Gospel. It is questionable whether a dogmatic theology which is not Calvinistic is truly Christian.”

The bottom line it seems to me is that Calvinism is at best a bait and switch tactic of Satan. Sure, one could get saved through the Calvinist gospel, but it is a trap, just another twist on mixing truth and error which amounts to error. If you came to the Lord through a Calvinist connection, you can count your blessings that you were not as a new believer indoctrinated with Reformed garbage. It would be better in my opinion for a new believer to be on their own than to be taught such an insidious doctrine.

I see no redeeming qualities whatsoever in Calvinism/Reformed doctrine because it so destroys the true Gospel whether it does it upfront or after the fact. It all adds up to the same thing – a false Gospel that the Apostle Paul clearly warns about in Galatians 1:6-9.

Unknown said...

Thanks BL for replying to my question.

I agree mostly on what you have said. However, there are some exceptions amongst Calvinists which is actually quite confusing.

Those like Paul washer are out and out Calvinists and preach the "works based" Lordship salvation. As i understand it, it means that you cannot be saved UNTIL Jesus is LORD of your life. Actually, I have discovered differing/conflicting views amongst calvinists on what that actually means and its implications.

Paul Washer preaches with great fervour that we need to spend as much time with a "seeker" as is necessary in prayer and reading scriptures "until Christ be birthed in that one" i.e until that person knows for themselves that they are saved.

Is there anything wrong in doing that? Shouldn't we spend time with individuals helping them to reach that point where they are ready to receive Jesus into their hearts?

There are multitudes who believe with a head knowledge (like the demons) but they are not born again because they have not been converted in their souls, ie they have not responded to the conviction from the Holy Spirit of their sinful condition realising they need and desire salvation from sin through looking to Jesus.

Regarding Paul Washer, I do not follow the Lordship aspect of his teachings. The point I am making is that there are ARE enthusiastic evangelists amongst the calvinists, like Paul washer,(although misguided) who don't seem to be "going through the motions".

What is confusing is: why would a "fatalistic" calvinist, who believes that only a select few (the elect) come under conviction of sin and be born again, be so zealous in spending many hours/days trying to win a seeker over? It seems like a contradiction to what they believe.

This is why, I lean towards the thought that some (like Paul Washer) could be used by God to save unbelievers. I mean his gospel message (I have listened to it on tape) sounds accurate enough.

Unknown said...

Of course, if Paul Washer actually states (I am not completely sure he does) that a seeker needs to surrender 100% to Jesus BEFORE they can be saved, then I have an issue with that.

If he means that we ask Jesus to come into our hearts and give Him permission to rule there in HIS power (not ours) by His grace and not by self effort, then it sounds completely scriptural. By asking Jesus into our hearts like this we become born-again and receive the Holy Spirit to permanently live within us.

However, if PW starts telling the seeker that they cannot be saved until they are prepared to totally give up every form of sin in their life then it would become a false gospel based on works. However, this is surely not a calvinist doctrine because they preach total depravity ) i.e that it is impossible for a sinner to save themselves from their sin without Sovereign grace.

This is why I don't believe they actually preach a Lordship salvation (as we understand it) but a message that we simply ask Jesus to become Lord and Saviour to do the sanctification work HIMSELF. All we need to do is believe, trust Him and willingly receive Him into our hearts. The Lordship aspect comes later as Jesus changes us daily "from one degree of glory to another" as/when we grow in our Christian lives.

BL said...

I agree that Calvinists are largely in mass confusion which they are apparently quite oblivious to that fact.

As for Paul Washer, this is a quote from his website:

Apparent sincerity of confession alone is never definite evidence of genuine repentance. It must be accompanied by a turning away from sin.

So in other words, he does subscribe to Lordship Salvation as does John MacArthur. BTW he links to both MacArthur and John Piper. Piper? If Washer is sincerely trying to maintain sound doctrine, he certainly would not link to Piper, would he?

He alludes to the doctrines of grace which is typical Calvinism and he also alludes to God choosing some while dismissing others which is also typical Calvinism.

The bottom line is they are all a confused bunch and I would tell anyone to simply steer clear of them. Let God sort it out as to whether they are saved or not. I just know that I want nothing to do with them or their convuluted doctrine. They taint the Gospel and that is enough for me.

I take a black/white approach to this topic just as much as I do any other matters of discernment. I like clarity and avoid grey areas when it pertains to the Lord's truth. There are some non essentials that one can takae or leave, but don't mess with the precious Gospel. It is the prime target of Satan and it cannot be denied that in some fashion or another Calvinism/Reformed distorts it and then piles on their false doctrines.

I don't think anyone can completely figure them out and pigeonhole them. There is little clarity in their tenets and it seems that the belief system attracts intellectuals who love to debate.

All of TULIP is a stink weed and you won't find any Calvinist worth his salt who doesn't hold to some form of it.

Unknown said...

Thanks again BL

I hope I am not giving anyone the impression that I am endorsing Paul Washer et al. I certainly am not.

I am just trying to explain that God can still use these calvinists to convict sinners of their need of Jesus for salvation from sin. I am not discussing about whether calvinist doctrine is okay. It clearly is not okay.

I have first hand experience of Calvinists simplified GOSPEL message to unbelievers. It is basically the same as ours.

The problem comes afterwards because they put other burdens on the new born again believer which makes them feel that they are not really saved at all.

I have seen for myself how people have been saved under their preaching - but then the problems start IF they get discipled by them.

I also wonder how Lordship Salvation (LS) doctrine can possibly be calvinistic. TULIP includes "Total Depravity". They teach that we are incapable of turning from sin. They teach that we can only turn from sin if we have already been born again (incidentally they teach that the elect become born again just BEFORE they repent and believe).

Therefore, how can the teaching of LS marry up with their total depravity doctrine? Something does not add up.

Unknown said...

Ahhh, I think I have "got it" now.

I guess LS adherents believe that without an absolute turning from sin it indicates that the seeker has not been born again prior to their belief. If they believe that being born again comes BEFORE faith and repentance then a lack of "turning from sin" and a lack of a hatred of it, is evidence that they were not born again beforehand. Therefore, salvation (effectively) becomes dependant on their absolute turning away from sin and their hatred of it, in their own ability.

I say "in their own ability" because according to the Scriptures we are NOT born again until we have put our faith in Jesus. Therefore, they do not yet have the capability STILL to turn from sin in God's strength because they are not actually born again.

I do agree that we are all depraved
(before becoming born again) and are incapable of turning from sin because we have a sinful nature that first needs to be saved and regenerated into new birth of the Holy Spirit.

The IMPORTANT difference (according to the scriptures)is that we become born again with a nature capable of turning from sin AFTER (or simultaneously - not before) we come under conviction of sin and put our faith in Jesus, receiving Him into our hearts.

The Bible teaches that at that point we become capable (by the power of the Holy Spirit) of separating ourselves from sin, but that this is a gradual process of daily sanctification.

BL said...

Yes John, you have deftly answered the enigma of how Calvinists can embrace Lordship Salvation and Irrestible Grace.

This may sound strange, but I actually equate Reformed theology with Catholicism. If anyone is saved, it is in spite of them, not because of them. And both indoctrinate new converts into false doctrine because the whole system is false and perverted.

As I said before Satan loves to use the truth as a cloak for error. He doesn't like for people to be saved, but the next best thing is to use God's Word to save, but then turn around and disarm and deceive with false doctrine.

I think I said before, I have heard TBN and Benny Hinn give a good Gospel invitation but it is only a conduit to error! I see Calvinism/Reformed in exactly the same way.

Rather than try to sort it all out I reject any and all teachers who hold to any portion of TULIP and any others who mix truth and error. It is the only safe way.

Anonymous said...

Paul Washer is wrong, his goal is to undermine the security of anybody, to take eyes off of Jesus' salvation, and put eyes on themselves and their works.