Friends,

An analogy:

A small, old-fashioned church building stood on a shady hillside over-looking a lush meadow, a tranquil lake, and a winding railroad track. The members of the church decided to host a picnic for some new families in town and the day they chose turned out to be lovely. Many people came and spread their blankets on the hillside and proceeded to have a time together of good food and fellowship.

Unfortunately though, there arrived down by the lake, several cars from which emerged a bunch of noisy, drunk, young people. They played loud music and shouted and swore and laughed as they swam in the water and played on the train tracks. The church picnic seemed ruined.

However, the church choir director, a former award-winning athlete, stepped forward announcing that he would take care of the boisterous crowd below. The parishioners agreed that something must be done so they watched in anticipation as the volunteer walked down to the drunk rabble, turned off their music, and tried to reason with them. Obviously the drunks didn’t listen but instead sat down on the railroad tracks and started singing incoherently while waving their arms so as to mock the choir director. What the choir director did next shocked even the church people, for he, one by one, knocked them all out with his fist. Hence, there on the tracks, lay the whole group of drunk people, quiet and still.

As the choir director made his way back up the hill, the picnickers began discussing what had just happened. “But notice how quiet it is once again,” someone said. “Yes,” said another. “Those people down there are evil anyway.” Soon all the church people were happily eating again, playing croquet, or relaxing on their blankets, ignoring the whistle of a train in the distance.

“Oh my!” said the choir director suddenly. “A train is coming!” And off he raced down the hill. The rest of the people looked on, motionless with horror. Nevertheless, their tension eased when they saw that the choir director had already quickly saved a few of the unconscious drunks, pulling them several yards off the tracks to safety.

The train was coming fast, though, and the picnickers could see that the bend in the tracks would keep the engineer from being able to see in time the doomed people still laying on the tracks.

“There is still time to save the rest,” whispered a church woman.

“You’re right,” answered someone. “But then why is our choir director just standing there?”

“He saved some,” snapped another. “I didn’t see the rest of us running down there to save any.”

The congregants watched as the choir director went to the edge of the lake, rinsed his hands, and splashed water on his face, his back turned to the railroad track as the train swept by and rattled off into the distance. Everyone just stared.

Soon the choir director started back up the hill to the picnicking people.

“That was heroic!” a man suddenly yelled out to the “hero”, and others chimed in similar cheers.

“But he could’ve saved all of them,” a little girl noted, whimpering.

“He didn’t have to save any of them,” countered someone. “If those people hadn’t have been drunk, they could have gotten off the tracks themselves, and they actually would not have been there in the first place.”

“But our choir director is the one who knocked them out while they were on the tracks,” an old man responded cautiously.

“They were on the tracks because they were mocking,” someone else retorted. “Those wretches deserved what they got.”

“Yeah,” another agreed. “Didn’t you notice that our dear choir director tried to reason with them first?”

“So true!” several people said in unison.

At this, many of the parishioners stood up and crowded around the choir director, applauding him for his heroism in saving a few of the doomed drunks from the deadly fate the rest of the drunks encountered.

Hmmmm…. what should the reader think of this choir director? Was he really a hero? Any reasonable person would say no, he was not a hero, but was in fact a mass murderer. And how should the church people be viewed? Were they sane?

Let’s ask the Calvinists now: How is this choir director much different than their god –their god who, from eternity past, supposedly ordained all thoughts, words, and actions (meaning evil ones as well) that occur throughout history, who ordained that Lucifer would rebel and propagate sin and horror and anguish, who ordained the fall of man in Eden by decreeing that Adam and Eve disobey him, who sent his son to die for those few he chose to save from eternity past, and who created most people to be damned (though he could have saved them also), and all this so that he might receive more glory from those who should be grateful for their eternal salvation and peace?

How should we view the calvinists’ god? And furthermore, how should we view the calvinists themselves who adore such a god?

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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Friends,
My husband and I came across this one minute clip last Saturday and listened, appalled, as R.C. Sproul explained how God’s regenerative (saving) grace has not been offered to everyone: https://youtu.be/pA-MdYusaIM

Sproul is not teaching the Good News here, but rather perverting it. Gal. 1:8,9 has a dire warning of eternal condemnation for those who do this, and verses 6 and 7 reveal that anyone who believes the words of such teachers are deserting the Lord to walk in the confusion of a different gospel –one that does not save.

The issue really comes down to what all false doctrines tout: “God actually means something other than what His words appear to mean.” It is therefore an issue of the authority of the Word of God. Who is a person going to believe? –The straight-forward, commonsense reading of Scripture, or instead the philosophies that men impose upon it.

God’s Word has told us repeatedly that God, in wanting all people to be saved (2 Pe. 3:9), sent Jesus to pay for sin, all sin, thus pardoning everyone (Isa. 53:6 // John 1:29 & 3:14-18 // 2 Cor. 5:15 // 1 Tim. 2:3-7 // 1 John 2:2) and that the Light (Life / Jesus) has been given / offered / extended to every single human being. (John 1:4-9 & 12:32 // Titus 2:11) This Gift of Salvation is not forced upon any person, but each person, of his own choosing, must reach out and take the Gift, doing so by believing in Jesus’ name. (John 1:12 & 6:28,29,33,40 & 11:25,26 // 2 Cor. 5:18-21) After the person chooses to do this, God gives that person the right to become His child / to be born from above, and to be an heir of eternal life. (John 1:12,13 & 3:3-21,36 // Eph. 1:13)

Calvinists don’t accept that the word “world” in God’s Word means “world”. They change the word to mean “the world of those elected by God from eternity past to be saved”. They refuse to acknowledge that in doing this they are rejecting the authority of the Word of God so that they can press into the text their man-made theology. Moreover, they refuse to recognize that in claiming that God decreed, from eternity past, everyone’s fate –some to be saved and most to be damned (for His glory and because He wills this scenario)– they are actually negating the need for Jesus to die to pay for anyone’s sin. Truly, why would Jesus have had to die for the elect if the elect were already, from eternity past, and before they believed in Jesus, unchangeably decreed saved?

Certainly Calvinists, in holding to their doctrines of TULIP and claiming that God has already predetermined every thought, word, and action, including evil ones, should admit that their theology, if viewed logically, tosses out the need for evangelism, prayer, and preaching. In fact, why waste our time trying to do anything but meet our own indulgences, since God has supposedly already preordained everything, including who will be saved and who will be damned?

That false, absurd, and even cunning, philosophies of men and demons persist (Col. 2:4,8 // 1 Tim. 4:1) is why it is crucial that we read Scripture for ourselves, accept the clear statements that we read there, and progress in the knowledge of the Truth through the teaching of the Holy Spirit Himself. (John 14:26 & 15:15 & 16:12-15 // 1 Cor. 2:9-16 // 1 John 2:26,27)

~~~Let’s consider these verses, though there are many more, regarding the Truth that Jesus paid the ransom for all mankind:

In Mt. 28:19 Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”

In Luke 2:10 we read that an angel of the Lord said to the shepherds, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

In John 1:29 John the Baptist says of Jesus, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

In John 6:33 Jesus says, “For the bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives Life to the world.”

In John 12:32 Jesus says, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all people to Myself.”

In Rom. 5:18 we read, “Therefore, just as one trespass brought condemnation for all people, so also one act of righteousness brought justification of life for all people.”

In 2 Cor. 5:15 we read, “For all He died, that those living should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them, and was raised again”; and in verse 19, “God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

In 1 Tim.2:3-6 we read, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the Truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men.”

In Heb. 2:9 we read, “…He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”

In 2 Pe. 2:1-3 we see that Jesus “bought” (redeemed / ransomed) even heretics, who, in following their heresy, forfeit their own salvation and bring condemnation and destruction to themselves.

In 1 John 4:14 the apostle John says, “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.”

It is clear that Scripture teaches that Jesus died for all mankind.

~~~Now here are some verses, though there are many more, that show that everyone has been offered eternal life by means of choosing faith in Jesus:

In John 3:15,16 Jesus says, “…the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

In John 5:24 Jesus says, “Whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

In John 6:40 Jesus again reveals God’s way of salvation by saying, “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son [it’s a choice] and believes in Him shall have eternal life…”

In Acts 10:43 Peter says, “All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”

In Rom. 1:16 Paul says, “…the Gospel… is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”

In Rom. 4:24 Paul says, “…God will credit righteousness –for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”

In Rom. ch. 10 we see that the Gospel is for the whole world, and that anyone who believes it, trusts in Christ, confesses that Jesus is Lord, calls on His name, and submits to God’s righteousness, is justified and saved. Note: We pursue God’s righteousness by faith (9:30-10:4) and in the power of His Spirit (8:4), and this results in obedience, righteousness, holiness, and eternal life. (6:16-22)

In Rev. 22:17 we read, “Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

~~~God has commanded everyone to repent and believe the Good News, but giving this command would make God disingenuous if, while commanding this, He was actually withholding from many the ability to repent, believe, and be saved. Yet this is what Calvinism teaches. However, the Truth teaches that God’s offer of salvation, as well as His commands, are genuine and given to all without partiality. (Acts 10:34,35) Here are some verses showing this:

As Jesus preaches through Galilee (Mark 1:14), He gives this command: “Repent and believe the Good News!” (v. 15)

Jesus says in Luke 24:46,47 that the Scriptures teach that “The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

In Acts 17:30 Paul says, “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.”

In Acts 26:20 Paul says, “First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.”

1 John 3:23 says, “And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love…”

Are we really to believe that God sends these exhortations out, through His messengers and Word, to all towns and nations, while at the same time refusing to enable most of the people to actually heed the words? Are Calvinists really describing the character and decrees of the One True God who is perfect in His justice? (Dt. 32:3,4) Or are they describing a god who sounds more like a demon? In contemplating this, let’s remember that Calvinism teaches that God commands everyone to repent, and He holds everyone accountable and guilty who do not do so, but at the same time, God also, they say, deliberately withholds the ability to repent from those He wills to damn.

So, let’s get it straight what Calvinists are teaching about God. They say that God, being Sovereign, could save everyone, but that He chooses not to do so, and not for the sake of allowing everyone the freedom to choose Him or reject Him, but instead because He wills (desires) that many be damned, and this for the purpose of making the elect be more grateful and full of praise toward Him. In other words, God relies on damning many people in order to get the highest possible praise from the elect for His love, mercy, and justice. This is indeed what staunch Calvinists teach, so besides a perverted gospel, they also proclaim a perverted god.

Do such reasonings not deeply defame the True God’s character and make Him out to be sadistic? It sounds similar to what a disturbed boy might do who collects a bunch of crickets, and deciding to play a fantasy game of war, proceeds to torture with pins and rocks those on the side he wants to lose. Would not all of us view such a boy as demented? What if he decided to torment a duck or a puppy –just because he could? We would call such a boy deranged and we would definitely try to save the suffering creature from the evil boy.

But humans, who God made in His image, are much more valuable to Him than any creature would be to us. God is our Creator and our Father. Thus He would rather have His Son be killed to ransom those He created than to have anyone, usurped by the devil and caught in his evil kingdom, remain there. Yes, many remain there, but it is due to their own rebellious insistence to remain there, not because God refuses to save them. (John 3:17-21) Yes, God will eventually disown them, but only after trying to woo them and plead with them, the whole course of their lifetime, to believe His Message, to repent, and to choose Life instead of Death. (Isa. 65:1-3 // Ezek. 18:30-32 // Mt. 23:37 // 2 Tim. 2:12 // Heb. 9:27 // 2 Pe. 3:9)

Sproul and other Calvinists seem to often try to soften their awful doctrine of Limited Atonement by bringing up God’s “common grace” for all. Yes, truly, God “is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35), is merciful to them (v. 36), and commands us to be merciful to everyone also. (v. 27-36) But why even bring this up when speaking about eternal salvation? For Jesus warned, “What good is it for a person if he gains the whole world yet loses or forfeits his very self?” (Luke 9:25) If Jesus considered all earthly blessings to be worthless if one’s soul is lost forever, then why pretend God is good to the un-elect if, while giving them blessings on earth, He nonetheless withholds eternal salvation from them?

Let’s say that a husband and wife choose to have a lot of kids –let’s say, 15 of them. They meet the needs of all their children for about the first eight years of their lives, but then arbitrarily banish each of them, except two, to the basement for the rest of their lives, giving them the bare necessities so they don’t die. For the two they preserve for living normally, they present repeated reminders about their gracious parenting skills and about how grateful those two should be, as well as how benevolent they were to all the other 13 children for each of their first eight years. When finally found out and sent to court, these two parents excuse their behavior before the judge by saying, “Those children belong to us, for we conceived and birthed them, and we therefore have the right to do with them what we will.”

But are these parents correct? Of course not, and any moral court would find these sadistic parents worthy of prison. Similarly, how can Calvinists excuse their god who supposedly reasons that because he created all humans, he has the right to decree eternal favor or eternal torture to each, irrespective of anything the individuals have done.

No, when someone causes a life to be created, the “creator” is responsible for that life while it is still in a helpless condition. If someone breeds dogs, that person is responsible to make sure all those dogs are well cared for. If God creates humans who come into existence upon an earth that has been taken over by an evil ruler (the devil), then God, because He is Love (1 John 4:16), does and has done, that which is required for every one of the humans to be redeemed and saved.

Sproul says in the above clip that God is not obligated to give grace to anyone, but he is wrong. Love obligates anyone and everyone to seek the highest good for every living creature to the best of one’s ability, and because God has all ability (all power) and is Himself Love (1 John 4:16), then He does obligate Himself to offer and seek everyone’s eternal salvation. And He has done just that –contrary to what the Calvinists are teaching.

God is Love. And God is just. He loves everyone, He wants everyone’s highest good, and He has therefore paid everyone’s ransom. As 1 John 2:2 confirms, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Jesus has told us that “everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34) He also goes on to say in the same verse that “a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.” This should be crystal clear: To keep sinning keeps us from being sons of God and thus exempts us from eternal life. (See also Heb. 10:26-31.)

Rom. 8:14 says that “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” In other words, if we are led by, and live according to, the control of the Holy Spirit, we belong to Christ Jesus. (v. 9) To live this way means we put to death daily anything that rears up in rebellion against Him. (v. 5-8, 13 // Luke 9:23-25 // Gal. 5:24,25) Everyone is either in rebellion against Christ, or in obedience to Christ –there is no middle ground. Lukewarmness, apathy, and/or partial obedience are the same as being rebellious. (1 Sam. 15:22,23 // Rev. 3:15,16)

The Gospel is a call to obedience –obedience to Christ and His Word. If anyone has (true) faith, then that person’s heart and life are in submission to righteousness. As Romans says, proclaiming “the Gospel” (1:2) is “to call people… to the obedience that comes from faith.” (v. 5) The “Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ” (16:25) “made known… by the command of the eternal God” (v. 26) has been revealed “so that all nations might believe and obey Him.” (Same verse)

The Gospel is the Good News that everyone has been set free from sin (Rom. 6:18) because everyone’s sins have been paid for (1 John 2:2) –making everyone pardoned by God and ransomed from the Kingdom of Darkness (Col. 1:13,14 // 1 Tim. 2:4-6)– if they choose to accept this Gift of Grace for themselves through faith (John 3:14-16) and fully submit to Jesus as their new Master by imitating Him / by continuously following Him and His commands. (8:31-36 & 10:27,28 & 14:21 // 1 John 2:3-6 & 3:24)

The Gospel is a call to become slaves to obedience. (Rom. 6:16) This leads to righteousness with the result being eternal life. (v. 16,22) However, the person who keeps sinning reaps for himself (eternal) death (v. 23), for by obeying sin, one remains a slave to sin. (v. 16) Again, as Jesus has said, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34), and as Rom. 7:14 informs us, being “sold as a slave to sin” keeps the sinning one in the category of “unspiritual” and still in need of deliverance from the dark kingdom of eternal death. (v. 24) Indeed, “being a slave to sin… results in death!” (See Rom. 6:20,21) Yes, everyone who sins or causes sin forfeits the Kingdom of Light and instead reaps Hell. (Mt. 13:41-43)

It is definitely true that we need God’s grace in order to be in Salvation. But God’s grace reigns in righteousness (righteous conduct / obedience to Christ), not in sinful conduct. (Rom. 5:21 // 1 Pe. 1:13-17) Thus obedience to righteousness under the Holy Spirit’s control is what reaps for us eternal life. (Same verses // Rom. 8:1-14 // Heb. 12:14)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
I continue to share God’s Word downtown at the train and bus stops every week and have many, many wonderful conversations with people who ask good questions, listen thoughtfully, and often ask for prayer that they can be delivered from sin, like addictions, and from anger, anxiety, etc. It is such a joy to have the Holy Spirit’s power and help to share with boldness and love, and to see Him give me the right verses and words for each person. It is truly exciting! The Lord honors our faith and our obedience!

My mom and I worked on Easter treat bags and handed them out the Thursday before Easter. Below are two photos of us with the treat bags and filled plastic eggs about to start walking with our loaded cart. Thank you so much for those who gave some money to us for the items inside the little bags and eggs. One friend donated 100 small metal crosses, and we put each on a string with some pretty beads. We also used the money for bookmarks with verses on them, including the Ten Commandments, and of course added candy and even small sticks of beef jerky. We also included the rest of the pocket calendars that a faithful friend donates to us every January. We also put in encouragement stickers and magnets, sometimes a very small toy, and some other miscellaneous things.

1. My dear, faithful mom (3/29/18)

2. Me (3/29/18)

I went again the next day –Good Friday– by myself and handed out my home-written tracts, as I do every week (–different messages every time). Here are a few of the texts I texted to prayer partners afterwards, with some names eliminated for privacy:

~~Report on 4/9/18: Witnessing today went well and thank you for praying! Please pray for D___ as his live-in girlfriend ditched him a week ago and then blocked him from being able to call her and he feels so sad, particularly because they had started out praying together and reading the Bible and going to church together. I gently reminded him that they had stepped out of God’s blessing by rebelling against His laws about purity. I encouraged and exhorted him at least half an hour and he listened very intently and I prayed twice with him. Please pray for a woman with a nine-month-old baby in a stroller and she listened soberly and asked me to pray for her and I did not get to pray with her because somebody was right then wanting to get a shirt. Her name is Lacey. I had brought my cart and about 25 men’s shirts that my mom’s friend Thara had given me to hand out, and I finally got to do that today. One man chose to take a Bible and several women took a shirt for someone they wanted to give it to. One woman took a bag of donuts I gave to her and her child. A man named James was real sweet and said his clothes got stolen and asked that I would pray that he gets a pair of pants. Please pray for a woman named Tina who has taken my tracts several times. She asked about my mom. Nina, a homeless woman asked for prayer that she get a better pair of shoes. I gave out two of my handmade bracelets also. Please pray for Johnny and Bobby who I’ve talked with before. Please pray for T___ who I had been praying for yesterday and I saw today. He and C___ were evangelists down there about six years ago and they got involved in false doctrine [Calvinism] and turned to sin and quit evangelizing. I got to talk with T___ today, though! Please pray that he and C___ come back to the Truth. I had evangelized C___ many times about 10 years ago before he became a Christian. Rachel

~~4/16/18: Prayer Partners, Thank you for your prayers. Downtown witnessing today was really good. Tons of good conversations. Please pick some of these to say a prayer for please: Bruce and Opal were two people together that I met and they asked for prayer and so I prayed for/with them. I said I would ask others to pray for them. Another was a woman, Rosa, who did not know English very well and she was crying hard on my shoulder as I hugged her. It was something about her sister and I couldn’t tell if it was that her sister had been killed in Mexico or deported there. But she was encouraged by what I told her about prayer. I also saw J____ who Brian and I had given the blankets to in December because he was in a tent in his ex-wife’s backyard. He said that a month later he got an apartment and a much better job and even a car, as well as a godly girlfriend and he is not drinking anymore. Please pray for him and his girlfriend. I also saw and talked with my friend Shot. Pray for him and Cindy who I’ve been friends with down there for about 15 years. I also talked with a nice looking 26-year-old who said he was an atheist but an hour later came back and talked with me for about half an hour and asked a lot of questions and listened really well. His name is Chris. Please pray for him to find the Truth. I often see Steven and he was feeling very discouraged, so please pray for him. Pray also for a guy name Steve who listened well and said that he is having trials with his family relationships. Also Howard, a homeless guy, who was so sweet. Also my friend Emmanuel. Also a woman named Elizabeth and another woman who was real excited to see what I was doing down there and her name is Emma. Another guy named Jerry that loves the Lord but is going through some big trials. There were many others, but I can’t remember them right now. Thank you so, so much! Rachel

~~Report about 4/19/18: I had a wonderful three hours downtown witnessing at the main Dart train stop and had a lot of very good conversations, exhorting and encouraging people, many who I had never met and some that I haven’t seen for a long time. It was really wild down there with a lot of people mad at each other and yelling. One of the security guards came over to me and said, “Go over there in front of the liquor store and preach to those people, because otherwise they’re about to get arrested.” So I did and most of them dispersed but two of them kept mocking me and asking dumb questions but one guy, nicknamed ____, listened somewhat well. I exhorted him, using 1 Cor. 15:33, to get away from corrupt company. Please pray for him. Later, at a different corner, a guy named Pedro was asking me questions and wants to follow the Lord he says, but says he can’t because he loves sin too much. At least he was honest. Another guy name Willy asked for prayer for his sister on chemo. Another guy named Tommy didn’t like my Hebrews 10:26 sign, but I encouraged him to read it in God’s Word, so he did on his phone, and then he soberly admitted that my sign was correct. None of these particular ones were homeless, but there were many others, and one was a homeless girl, one who had been yelling and swearing at a guy and kind of crying, and about an hour later she came and talked to me a little, but she was high on something and I tried to encourage her and she then said she had to call her dad. Pray she gets delivered. There were many, many other conversations… Thank you for all your prayers!!! Love, Rachel

Those are just a sample of things that I encounter while witnessing. Most of my mornings are spent in Bible study and my prayer ministry, and I also keep my nursing home ministry, blog ministry, and work part-time for pay. Thank you to anyone who would be led to donate at my “About” page.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
A ship, carrying many people, was sinking. Many people found themselves in the water, facing certain death by drowning. But another ship appeared, and nearing the helpless people, the captain ordered that some life ropes be thrown toward them. Five people were thrown the ropes and pulled up to safety, while at least a hundred remained in the water, calling out for rescue.

“That is all we’re saving,” the captain said when his crew was about to throw the ropes out again.

The crew was aghast, but the captain repeated his statement and commanded that his ship continue on toward its destination.

“But my child is still in the water!” cried a saved woman.

“I did not have to save you,” replied the captain. “You need to be grateful that I saved some, including you. I have no obligation to save anyone. I am a king of a distant land and you, along with these others who are on my ship, as well as those left out there in the water, are all obligated to give me honor, praise, and glory for my mercy and my power and my love.”

Can any reader of this story who knows the doctrines taught in TULIP truthfully deny that this is very much like what the Calvinists teach about God? They say that God, from eternity past, has saved whoever He has chosen to save while “passing over” the rest of humankind, and this so that He might more fully display His glory. The “passing over” is actually a preset decree of damnation to these multitudes, and the honest Calvinist admits this, admitting also that Calvin did teach this in his Institutes. Yes, Calvinism does teach that God created millions of people whom He predestined to be sent to Hell, and this in order to emphasize His mercy in the saving of some. Ignoring verses such as 2 Pe. 3:9, they teach that God could have saved everyone, but deliberately chose not to do so.

Calvinism is a sick doctrine. It is a doctrine of demons. (1 Tim. 4:1) Anyone who knows the Lord personally knows that Calvinism’s god is a demon and not the True God who is completely just, righteous, fair, and loving. (Dt. 32:4 // Ps. 145:8,9 // Rom. 2:11)

Expose Calvinism. Reject it and stand against it. It is a strong delusion that is sweeping up many.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

The System Is Deceitful

April 5, 2018

Friends,
People, church people, and people who call themselves Christians –well, many, it seems, are building their souls on foundations that are not Christ. To be walking on the Narrow Road of Eternal Life (Mt. 7:13,14) we must be careful how we are building (1 Cor. 3:10) and careful that we are building on the True Foundation, who is Jesus Christ. (v. 11) If we are building on anyone or anything other than Him, we are not saved, even if we think we are.

What is this system that many call “church”? Is their church, and is the modern church as a whole, really building on Jesus? Or are they building on a man, a method, and/or a worldly philosophy? Are most churches striving to obey Jesus’ commands, or are they actually striving for fame, for numbers, for accolades, and for thrills? Are they trusting Jesus alone, or are they, in reality, trusting a community and a system? Is their hope truly set on Christ and knowing Him, or is their hope set on a church and on the people they know?

What is this church stuff all about? Is it about Jesus? If it is, it is about obeying Him, it is about preaching the Gospel across the earth with all the fervor we have, going, and supporting those who go. It is about dying daily and letting Christ rule us 24/7. (Luke 9:23-25 // Rom. 8:9 // 2 Cor. 5:15) It is about making disciples, meaning teaching people to obey everything Christ commanded. (Mt. 28:19) It is about insisting that all who claim to be following Christ must really follow Him (John 10:27,28) and behave the way He did (1 John 2:6) –meaning being perfect, as God is perfect. (Mt. 5:48)

But, is this being taught within the church walls, from seminaries, and in the pages of “Christian” books? Jesus told us to repent and believe the Good News (Mark 1:15) and follow Him. (v. 17) What did He say He will do if we’re following Him? He said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Same verse)

Therefore, we must all, if we are following Jesus, become fishers of men. If we are filled with His Holy Spirit, we will definitely be compelled to do this and He will give us His words and attitude and strength and wisdom as we step forward in obedience under His guidance and power. (Mt. 5:13-16 & 9:37,38 // Acts 1:8 // Phil. 2:15,16)

But are church-goers doing this? Are they at least preparing themselves to do this, and are their church leaders even encouraging it? Half-heartedly, maybe.

What is being promoted? Well, church attendance, tithing, help with the function of the building and the programs…

It’s a twist. There’s some Truth being taught, but there is a wrong focus, there is error-filled doctrine, there is luke-warmness, there is sin. Even while they praise the Lord and claim they are following Him, they keep sinning! Will not what they’ve built be burned up? (1 Cor. 3:12-15) And will not God destroy those who continue to defile His temple? (v. 17) Each sanctified person is God’s dwelling / God’s temple (v. 16), but even if once sanctified, the defiling one will face the raging fire of God’s wrath. (v. 17 // Heb. 10:26-31)

In the wee hours of this morning, as I lay awake for several hours praying, grieving about the apostatizing church, I suddenly heard from the Lord, “The system is deceitful.” I’ve often thought of the church system as being deceptive, and I have even carried some signs about that, but this was worse. Deceit to me implies deliberate deception. It implies more than a group of people becoming deceived through foolishness or laziness. Instead, it seemed to me to be a focus on those who are deliberately orchestrating the deception and that leaders, with purpose and intent, are using, for their own gain, and especially to try to boost their own ego, a system that is in itself deceitful. Not all are doing this, but most are, or are gravitating toward doing so.

1 Pe. 4:17 warns us that God’s judgement begins with His own people. So, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (v. 18) But don’t most churches teach that it is easy to be saved –in spite of God’s Word which teaches differently, as in Luke 13:24, Acts 14:22, and 2 Pe. 3:14-18? And don’t they teach that once saved, people can act sinful and ungodly and remain saved? God’s Word does not teach these things (see John 15:1-10 and Heb. 3:6-19, 4:11, 6:4-12, & 12:14 for example), but churches do. They do not teach that sowing to please the sinful nature always reaps destruction, as Gal. 5:19-21 & 6:8 state. They do not teach that the sinful nature, with its passions and desires, has, if we belong to Christ, been crucified, as Gal. 5:24 teaches, but instead they teach that we carry around the old sinful nature along with Christ’s divine nature! And this, even though 2 Cor. 5:17 says the opposite, as does 1 John 3:4-10.

People are letting others deceive them. They are allowing a deceitful system to rule them –to both delight and depress them– and to pull them away from the True Foundation who is Jesus alone. For those who allow this to continue, the end will be destruction. (2 Thes. 2:10) Because they refuse to love the Truth –to study the Word of God fervently, obey it, and follow the voice of Jesus– God will punish them by sending them “a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the Truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (v. 11,12)

Therefore, let us come out from among the defiled (2 Cor. 6:17), stop fellowshipping with the unrighteous (v. 14-16), cleanse ourselves (7:1 // Ja. 4:8), submit to God fully, completely, and with finality (Ja. 4:7), and humbly accept and obey the Word which can save us. (1:21 // Luke 6:46-49)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
It is common to hear that Christians are saved by grace and that, therefore, we are not saved by works. Eph. 2:8,9 seem to be most often quoted, though they leave out verse 10 which reveals we are ordained to do good works –a verse that implies that if we don’t, we are in rebellion.

Rom. 4:1-5 is also often pointed out about Abraham being justified, not by works, but by believing God. However, the context is left out, for a few verses prior, in Rom. 3:27-31, and really the theme of chapters 2, 3, and 4, show that the works being spoken about are the works of the Jewish law. What Paul is pointing out is that Abraham was found righteous in God’s eyes because of his faith in God’s instructions and promises to him, not by adhering to a law which had not even been given yet. James 2:20-24 makes this point also, stating that this faith Abraham possessed resulted in actions, for it says Abraham was “considered righteous for what he did…” (v. 21) –actions which came as a result of believing God (v. 23,24)– for “his faith was made complete by what he did.” (v. 22)

Thus we see that God’s Word teaches that it is true living faith –the faith that causes obedience– that is credited to us as righteousness. This is what is repeated several times in Romans chapter four and what is stated in the first paragraph of the book –that it is a message concerning “the obedience that comes from faith.” (Rom. 1:5) Scripture does not teach that Christ’s righteousness covers the person continuing in sin (disobedience –Eph. 5:6 / lawlessness –1 John 3:4 / rebellion –Heb. 3:7-15), but rather teaches that our faith (which equates to trust and eager obedience) is what makes us righteous in God’s eyes. Yes, it is God’s grace that has given (faith-filled) people the gift of righteousness, which is what Rom. 5:17 reveals, but this same verse reveals that this gift of righteousness (actual righteous conduct –see 1 John 3:7, not a claim –Titus 1:16) is what is to reign in our lives. As Rom. 8:4 says, the righteous requirements of the law (God’s moral law –1 Cor. 7:19 / Christ’s law –1 Cor. 9:21, preformed through the law of the Spirit –Rom. 8:9 & 7:6) are expected to be fully met in us. (See also John 15:10)

It is true that 2 Cor. 5:21 teaches “that in Him [Christ] we might become the righteousness of God”, but this is available only for those of whom verse 15 speaks of –those who are living “no longer for themselves but for Him who died for them”, and those of whom verse 17 is true: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old [creature and lifestyle] has gone, the new has come!” These expectations being of the True Doctrine, and so that we do not “receive God’s grace in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1), we are to “purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Cor. 7:1)

As Rom. 8:13 teaches, we ourselves are to eliminate sin from ourselves using the power of the Spirit we’ve been given (given because of God’s grace), thereby walking in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the desires of the sinful nature. (Gal. 5:16) Indeed, God’s grace has been poured out that we might live pleasing to Him, not so that we can sin safely with Christ’s righteousness supposedly covering us and hiding us from the eyes of the omniscient God! Definitely, no matter what sinning “Christians” claim, the Truth teaches that “those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” (Rom. 8:8)

Rom. 4:6-8 may likely also be mentioned by those who think faith does not include works, but Paul, in quoting David’s words in Ps. 32:1,2 is making a point about God’s forgiveness toward those who have faith apart from circumcision / Jewish law. Again, this is the theme throughout the context of chapter 4, as well as of chapters 2 and 3. If we go to Ps. 32, verse 2 finishes with, “and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Assumedly Paul did not quote this last phrase of David’s because he was stressing a slightly different point –the point that God pardons anyone having living faith, including non-Jews. Paul was not negating the need for repentance and obedience to God. Indeed, if we look at verses 3-5 of Ps. 32, we can see that David writes that it was only when he acknowledged and confessed his sin to the Lord, that the Lord forgave his guilt (v. 5), and that until he relinquished his sin, God’s hand was heavy upon him and he was under great duress. (v. 3,4) It is important that we interpret Scripture with Scripture when determining what the true doctrine of Christ is.

Some people may bring into the discussion Isa. ch. 53 which tells us that Jesus bore our sins by His death, and which ends with, “For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (v. 12) Yes, this atoning sacrifice was not a reward for anything good we humans had done, but was instead God’s gift to all mankind, undeserving though we all are. This truly is grace, making it true that this gracious gift of salvation has not been granted because of our works.

However, it is also true that we must believe in this Gift, we must receive it, and once we receive it, we must submit to, follow, and obey the Giver, who is, we must recognize, The King, The Lord Almighty, the Ruler and Boss of all, and the Rightful Master of our individual lives. It must be taught how this is done, for it is done by renouncing and turning from all sin. As Isa. 55:7 says, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him, and [let him turn] to our God, for He will freely pardon.” Scripture does not teach that God’s grace and His gift of righteousness is given to the person who refuses to forsake sin.

So, to think that the Gift of grace, forgiveness, pardon, righteousness, and salvation is for those who believe in Jesus –well, this is not the entire Truth, for “even the demons believe and shudder.” (Ja. 2:19) Really, truth is not truth if some of it is left out, or if something is added to it, for then it is only partial truth. Jesus and John the Baptist and the apostles and the prophets continually stated that there must be repentance, a forsaking of sin, a life producing “fruit in accordance with repentance.” (Mt. 3:8) As Jesus said, “Unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3) And as Mt. 3:10 warns, “Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Clear confirmation of this is found in Gal. 6:8 –that those who sow to please the sinful nature will reap for themselves destruction as opposed to those who sow to please the Spirit which results in eternal life. Thus those who teach that Christ-followers (Christians) are safe to sin are deceiving themselves and others and making a mockery of God’s Word. (v. 7)

Repentance is absolutely necessary for salvation, as is continued obedience. Moreover, repentance cannot be considered a one-time prayer of acknowledgment of sin but is instead a change of mind, heart, conduct, and spirit. It is a forsaking of sin by letting Christ take it out of us (1 John 3:5) and give us His own divine, sin-free nature (v. 9) which compels us to do what is right. (v. 10) Thus salvation is given to the new creation who keeps on faithfully following Christ by obeying Him.

The Gift of Grace is not the only necessity for salvation, then, is it? No, instead, as Titus 2:11-14 teaches, it is God’s grace that has been given to the world so that those of us who choose to apply it can be redeemed from all wickedness and can walk in pureness, good works, self-discipline, godliness, freedom from the darkness, and eternal life. Those who choose to walk on this holy path consisting of holy conduct (1 Pe. 1:15) are them who can rest in the hope of that further grace which is to be given when Jesus returns (v. 13b) and when God “judges each person’s work impartially.” (v. 17)

We are saved by God’s grace, then, aren’t we? For without it we could not be saved. However, refusing to walk in obedience to God when His grace has given us new life and the power to do so (2 Pe. 1:3,4), is a refusal to apply His grace to ourselves. This refusal would be to “receive God’s grace in vain.” (2 Cor. 6:1)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel