THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE FLESH IS FLESH – AND ALWAYS WILL BE TILL THE DAY YOU DIE!

THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE FLESH IS FLESH – AND ALWAYS WILL BE TILL THE DAY YOU DIE!

J.C. Philpot

There is no promise made that in this life, we shall be set free from the indwelling and the in-working of sin. Many think that their flesh is to become “progressively holier and holier”—that sin after sin is to be removed gradually out of the heart—until at last they are almost made perfect in the flesh. But this is an idle dream, and one which, sooner or later will be crudely and roughly broken to pieces.

The flesh will ever remain the same—and we shall ever find that the flesh will lust against the Spirit. Our fleshly nature is corrupt to the very core. It cannot be mended. It cannot be sanctified. It is the same at the last, as it was at the first—inherently evil, and as such will never cease to be corrupt until we put off mortality—and with it the body of sin and death.

All we can hope for, long after, expect, and pray for—is that this evil fleshly nature may be subdued, kept down, mortified, crucified, and held in subjection under the power of grace. But as to any such change passing upon the flesh—or taking place in the flesh as to make it holy—it is but a pharisaic delusion, which, promising a holiness in the flesh, leaves us still under the power of sin.

The true sanctification of the new man of grace—which is wrought by a divine power—is utterly distinct from any imagined holiness in the flesh—or any vain dream of its progressive sanctification.

I AM A PERVERSE AND UNRULY PATIENT!

I AM A PERVERSE AND UNRULY PATIENT!

(Letters of John Newton)

I am bound to speak well of MY PHYSICIAN – He treats me with great tenderness, and bids me in due time to expect a perfect cure. I know too much of Him (though I know but little) to doubt either His skill or His promise.

It is true, I HAVE SUFFERED SAD RELAPSES since I have been under His care. Yet I confess that the fault has not been His – but my own! I AM A PERVERSE AND UNRULY PATIENT! I have too often neglected His prescriptions, and broken the regimen He appoints me to observe. This PERVERSENESS, joined to the EXCEEDING OBSTINACY OF MY DISORDERS, would have caused me to be turned out as AN INCURABLE long ago–had I been under any other hand but His! Indeed – there is none like Him! When I have BROUGHT MYSELF very low–He has still helped me. Blessed be His name – I am yet kept alive only by means of His perfect care.

Though His medicines are all BENEFICIAL–they are not all PLEASANT. Now and then He gives me a PLEASANT cordial; but I have many severe disorders, in which there is a NEEDS-BE for my frequently taking His BITTER and UNPALATABLE medicines!

We sometimes see published in the newspapers, ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OF CURES RECEIVED. Methinks, if I were to publish my own case, that it would run something like this:
“I, John Newton, have long labored under a multitude of grievous disorders:
a fever of ungoverned passions,
a cancer of pride,
a frenzy of wild imaginations,
a severe lethargy, and
a deadly stroke!

In this deplorable situation, I suffered many things from many physicians, spent every penny I had – yet only grew worse and worse!

In this condition, Jesus, the Physician of souls, found me when I sought Him not. He undertook my recovery FREELY, without money and without price – these are His TERMS with all His patients! My FEVER is now abated, my SENSES are restored, my FACULTIES are enlivened! In a word, I AM A NEW MAN! And from His ability, His promise, and the experience of what He has already done – I have the fullest assurance that He will infallibly and perfectly heal me – and that I shall live forever as A MONUMENT OF HIS POWER AND GRACE!”

Hallelujah!

EASTER – THE DEVIL’S HOLIDAY

EASTER – THE DEVIL’S HOLIDAY

Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

Easter has little to do with real Christianity. Does that surprise you? It should not. For example, Easter was not popular with the Puritans or the Pilgrim settlers in America. Neither Puritans or Pilgrims had use for ceremonies associated with religious festivals invented in either pagan history, or reinvented by Roman Catholicism. In actuality, here in the America’s only after the bloodshed Civil War did Easter “begin again” to be accepted. As Walsh states in his “Holy Time and Sacred Space in Puritan New England” (Walsh, American Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Spring, 1980), pp. 79-95) “The New England [Pilgrims] like Reformed Protestants everywhere, rejected traditional Roman Catholic and Anglican beliefs and practices that organized time around consecrated churches, railed-off altars, holy shrines, miraculous wells, and that supposed the flow of time to be an irregular succession of holy days and sacred seasons. The Reformers argued, what was intended as a crutch for others had become a cast for Christians who willingly accepted the obligation of constant worship. They for whom all days are holy can have no holidays.” (See, for example, The Sermons of John Calvin Upon the Fifth Book of Moses called Deuteronomie, trans. Arthur Golding (London: H. Middleton, 1583).

The Post Reformation pastors and theologians of the day, following the Reformers, abolished Easter, among other things. In June 1647, England Parliament, headed by the Puritans at Westminster, passed legislation abolishing Christmas and other holidays: “Forasmuch as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, Whitsuntide, and other festivals, commonly called holy-days, have been heretofore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained, that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called holy-days, be no longer observed as festivals; any law, statute, custom, constitution, or canon, to the contrary in anywise not withstanding.” (Daniel Neal, The History of the Puritans (London, 1837; rpt. Minneapolis: Klock , p. 45).
The Puritans “proposed a stricter observance of Sundays, the Lord’s Day, along with banning the immoral celebration of Christmas — as well as Easter, Whitsun and saints’ days.” (Patino, Marta, The Puritan Ban on Christmas). The reason the puritans denied the celebration of any holy days was a biblical foundation to deny the “dressing up” of any other day than what God had specifically prescribed in Lord’s Day worship. “Holy days’ have no such prescription — there is no Scriptural command, approved example, or good and necessary inference, which warrants tying specific acts of redemption to ‘holy’ days of our own choosing.” (Chris Coldwell, The Religious Observance of Christmas and ‘Holy Days’ in American Presbyterianism) (I would encourage the reader to read the entire article that Coldwell has at that link which covers not only Easter, but other holidays.)In “The Quest for Purity: Dynamics of Puritan Movements” by Walter E. a Van Beek, he states, “Because Easter invariably fell on a Sunday, this was a problem for Puritan preachers who were consistent with their repudiation of of the traditional calendar. The usual solution was to preach a sermon that had no direct connection with Easter.” (Page 77.) How would a congregation today take a non-Easter sermon on Easter Sunday? What would your reaction be, reader?

Rightly so, the Westminster Confession states in the appendix entitled, “An Appendix, Touching Days and Places for Public Worship,” the following, “The key clause of interest to this study is, “Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued.” Later Presbyterian theology followed suit. While people “say” they adhere to the Confession, they dip hardboiled eggs into food coloring, and buy Easter Baskets for their children. Robert Dabney states in abolishing Easter, “The objections are: first, that this countenances “will-worship,” or the intrusion of man’s inventions into God’s service; second, it is an implied insult to Paul’s inspiration, assuming that he made a practical blunder, which the church synods, wiser than his inspiration, had to mend by a human expedient; and third, we have here a practical confession that, after all, the average New Testament Christian does need a stated holy day, and therefore the ground of the Sabbath command is perpetual and moral.” (Robert Lewis Dabney “The Christian Sabbath: Its Nature, Design and Proper Observance”, Discussions: Theological and Evangelical (Richmond: Whittet and Shepperson, 1890) 1. 524-525. See also, “The Sabbath of the State,” 2.600.)

What do we find when entering into Roman Catholicism’s “borrowing” of paganism? John Gill states, “Popish festivals were observed very early, long before the Pope of some arrived to the height of his ambition. The feast of Easter was kept in the second century, as the controversy between Anicetus and Polycarp, and between Victor and the Asiatic churches, shews.” (John Gill, Sermon 57: A Dissertation on the Rise and Progress of Popery, page 17; Ages Ultimate Library, 2004). We find their continued alliance with breaking the regulative principle, and the replacement of true worship, with worshipping that which is unholy. They institute unscriptural burdens such as Lent, fast days, sacred rites that control their kingdom with superstitions and false religion guised in the cloak of “authority” and hide the truth from people to damn them for all eternity. One such deception is their introduction of the “Christian festival of Easter.” Look around and you will see the world-wide acceptance of the chocolate bunny and hardboiled egg. It is harmless, right?

What does one find when looking at the celebration of Easter? The term “Easter” is certainly not Christian, and is of Chalcedonian origin. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people at Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use today. That name, as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar – the devil or Satan.[1]

Worship of the devil in this way was introduced to the English people through the Druids who worshipped the devil through nature.

Take a moment and note that Romanism or Druidism for that matter, would not openly say “they are worshipping the devil.” Of course they would deny it. However, the Scripture is exceedingly clear that any doctrine not brought to men through the Triune Godhead, and the Savior Jesus Christ, is a doctrine of demons and therefore, a worshipping of the devil. This certainly applies not only to the contemporary church when it introduces destructive heresies, or twists Paul’s words to their own destruction, as Peters states, but also applies to false religious ideas that pull people away from the one true Savior and only God Jesus Christ. One cannot introduce false religion without partaking of demonic influences and devil worship in that light.

As a result of Druidic worship, and influences that have penetrated into Romanism, contemporary Christendom of almost every flavor still has those influences lingering today in their worship, and their Sunday morning bulletins around the time of Easter. The Druids would worship in lighting a fire in the center circle and each worshipper putting in a “bit of oat-cake in a shepherd’s bonnet; they all sit down, and draw blindfold a piece from the bonnet. One piece has been previously blackened, and whoever gets that piece has to jump through the fire in the centre of the circle, and pay a forfeit. This is, in fact, a part of the ancient worship of Baal, and the person on whom the lot fell was previously burnt as a sacrifice.” Scripture deems this “walking through the fire” or “fire sacrifice.” God condemns the practice of making children walk through the fire in Leviticus 18:21, “You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.”

Easter, then, traces back through Astarte was also worshipped in ancient times, and that from the name Astarte, whose name in Nineveh was Ishtar, the religious workings during the month of March and April, as now practiced in most of Christendom, are called by the name of Easter. In ancient times the pagans called this time of the year Easter-monath.

Even Socrates, the ancient philosopher, describes the different ways in which Easter was observed in different countries in his time during the fifth century. He states, “Thus much already laid down may seem a sufficient treatise to prove that the celebration of the feast of Easter began everywhere more of custom than by any commandment either of Christ or any Apostle.” (Hist. Ecclesiast.) Even Socrates, the philosopher of the 5th Century (not the pagan 5th century BC philosopher) knew Easter was not a Christian doctrine.

Socrates Scholasticus (aka Socrates of Constantinople) said, “Neither the apostles, therefore, nor the Gospels, have anywhere imposed the ‘yoke of servitude’ on those who have embraced the truth; but have left Easter and every other feast to be honored by the gratitude of the recipients of grace. Wherefore, inasmuch as men love festivals, because they afford them cessation from labor: each individual in every place, according to his own pleasure, has by a prevalent custom celebrated the memory of the saving passion. The Saviour and his apostles have enjoined us by no law to keep this feast: nor do the Gospels and apostles threaten us with any penalty, punishment, or curse for the neglect of it, as the Mosaic law does the Jews. It is merely for the sake of historical accuracy, and for the reproach of the Jews, because they polluted themselves with blood on their very feasts, that it is recorded in the Gospels that our Saviour suffered in the days of ‘unleavened bread.’ The aim of the apostles was not to appoint festival days, but to teach a righteous life and piety. And it seems to me that just as many other customs have been established in individual localities according to usage. So also the feast of Easter came to be observed in each place according to the individual peculiarities of the peoples inasmuch as none of the apostles legislated on the matter. And that the observance originated not by legislation, but as a custom the facts themselves indicate” (Schaff, P. (1997). The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series Vol. II. Socrates, Sozomenus: Church Histories. (130).)

Where did people begin worshipping “gods” on Easter? Hislop explains, “The forty days’ of fasting during the Romanist Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty days, “in the spring of the year,” is still observed by the Yezidis or Pagan Devil-worshippers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from their early masters, the Babylonians. It was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: “Three days after the vernal equinox…began a solemn fast of forty days in honor of the sun.” Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt which was held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god. At the same time, the rape of Proserpine seems to have been commemorated, and in a similar manner; for Julius Firmicus informs us that, for “forty nights” the “wailing for Proserpine” continued; and from Arnobius we learn that the fast which the Pagans observed, called “Castus” or the “sacred” fast, was, by the Christians in his time, believed to have been primarily in imitation of the long fast of Ceres, when for many days she determinedly refused to eat on account of her “excess of sorrow,” that is, on account of the loss of her daughter Proserpine, when carried away by Pluto, the god of hell. As the stories of Bacchus, or Adonis and Proserpine, though originally distinct, were made to join on and fit in to one another, so that Bacchus was called Liber, and his wife Ariadne, Libera (which was one of the names of Proserpine), it is highly probable that the forty days’ fast of Lent was made in later times to have reference to both.

Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called the “month of Tammuz”; in Egypt, about the middle of May, and in Britain, sometime in April. To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity–now far sunk in idolatry–in this as in so many other things, to shake hands. The instrument in accomplishing this amalgamation was the abbot Dionysius the Little, to whom also we owe it, as modern chronologers have demonstrated, that the date of the Christian era, or of the birth of Christ Himself, was moved FOUR YEARS from the true time.

Whether this was done through ignorance or design may be matter of question; but there seems to be no doubt of the fact, that the birth of the Lord Jesus was made full four years later than the truth. This change of the calendar in regard to Easter was attended with momentous consequences. It brought into the Church the grossest corruption and the rankest superstition in connection with the abstinence of Lent. Let anyone only read the atrocities that were commemorated during the “sacred fast” or Pagan Lent, as described by Arnobius and Clemens Alexandrinus, and surely he must blush for the Christianity of those who, with the full knowledge of all these abominations, “went down to Egypt for help” to stir up the languid devotion of the degenerate Church, and who could find no more excellent way to “revive” it, than by borrowing from so polluted a source; the absurdities and abominations connected with which the early Christian writers had held up to scorn. That Christians should ever think of introducing the Pagan abstinence of Lent was a sign of evil; it showed how low they had sunk, and it was also a cause of evil; it inevitably led to deeper degradation. Originally, even in Rome, Lent, with the preceding revelries of the Carnival, was entirely unknown; and even when fasting before the Christian Pasch was held to be necessary, it was by slow steps that, in this respect, it came to conform with the ritual of Paganism. What may have been the period of fasting in the Roman Church before sitting of the Nicene Council does not very clearly appear, but for a considerable period after that Council, we have distinct evidence that it did not exceed three weeks.”

So we have the history of “Easter” and its popular observances today confirm the testimony of history as to its Babylonian character, such as the hot-crossed buns that are so tasty.

The hot cross buns of Good Friday, and the dyed eggs of Easter Sunday, figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do now. The “buns” were used in the worship of the queen of heaven, the goddess Easter, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens–that is, 1500 years before the Christian era. Jeremiah 7:18 states, “The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.” Jeremiah uses the word “bun” which is where the concept was derived. The Hebrew word was pronounced Khavan, which in Greek became sometimes Kapan-os. The Hebrew shows how Khvan, pronounced as one syllable, would pass into the Latin panis, “bread,” and the second how, in like manner, Khvon would become Bon or Bun. The hot cross buns are not now offered, but eaten, on the festival of Astarte; but this leaves no doubt as to where the original idea came from.

What about the Ishtar Eggs? Where do we get bunnies and eggs in baskets and egg hunts during a Christian holy-day? The origin of the Paschal eggs is just as pagan. The ancient Druids bore an egg, as the sacred emblem of their order. Hislop says, “In the Dionysiaca, or mysteries of Bacchus, as celebrated in Athens, one part of the nocturnal ceremony consisted in the consecration of an egg. The Hindo fables celebrate their mundane egg as of a golden color. The people of Japan make their sacred egg to have been brazen. In China, at this hour, dyed or painted eggs are used on sacred festivals, even as in this country. In ancient times eggs were used in the religious rites of the Egyptians and the Greeks, and were hung up for mystic purposes in their temples. From Egypt these sacred eggs can be distinctly traced to the banks of the Euphrates. The classic poets are full of the fable of the mystic egg of the Babylonians.” Hyginus, the poet states, “An egg of wondrous size is said to have fallen from heaven into the river Euphrates. The fishes rolled it to the bank, where the doves having settled upon it, and hatched it, out came Venus, who afterwards was called the Syrian Goddess”–that is, Astarte, or Easter. So the Easter Egg became one of the symbols of Astarte, and its occult meaning had reference to the ark during the time of the flood, in which the whole human race were shut up, as the chick is enclosed in the egg before it is hatched.

The egg, then, became used as a symbol for the whole world as Noah and his family, after the destruction was the “whole world” floating on the waters of the flood. Hislop states, “The coming of the egg from heaven evidently refers to the preparation of the ark by express appointment of God; and the same thing seems clearly implied in the Egyptian story of the mundane egg which was said to have come out of the mouth of the great god. The doves resting on the egg need no explanation. This, then, was the meaning of the mystic egg in one aspect. As, however, everything that was good or beneficial to mankind was represented in the Chaldean mysteries, as in some way connected with the Babylonian goddess, so the greatest blessing to the human race, which the ark contained in its bosom, was held to be Astarte, who was the great civiliser and benefactor of the world. Though the deified queen, whom Astarte represented, had no actual existence till some centuries after the flood, yet through the doctrine of metempsychosis, which was firmly established in Babylon, it was easy for her worshippers to be made to believe that, in a previous incarnation, she had lived in the Antediluvian world, and passed in safety through the waters of the flood. Now the Romish Church adopted this mystic egg of Astarte, and consecrated it as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection. A form of prayer was even appointed to be used in connection with it, Pope Paul V teaching his superstitious votaries thus to pray at Easter this specific prayer, “Bless, O Lord, we beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome sustenance unto thy servants, eating it in remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Scottish Guardian, April, 1844).

That Semiramis, under the name of Astarte, was worshipped not only as an incarnation of the Spirit of God, but as the mother of mankind, we have very clear and satisfactory evidence. There is no doubt that “the Syrian goddess” was Astarte (LAYARD’S Nineveh and its Remains). Now, the Assyrian goddess, or Astarte, is akin to simply worshipping the devil. Astarte is not Jesus Christ, is not the Triune Godhead, is not biblical, but everything that God prohibits. The bunny with its fertility connotations and the ancient pagan festivals that used rabbits as symbols of fertility in Babylonian times or the use of eggs, or the use of candy (which derived from the use of pomegranates and oranges that were also used in ancient times of pagan rituals) is identified as devil worship by any thinking Christian. It is no wonder that the use of the symbol of the dove itself as a Christian symbol did not come from the idea of the Spirit resting as a dove upon Christ during His baptism, but as a representative of the Mother of the gods, in whom that Spirit was said to be incarnate, was celebrated as the originator of some of the useful arts and sciences. And we find very readily in Greek mythology that the character attributed to the Minerva, whose name Athena as a synonym for Beltis, the well known name of the Assyrian goddess. Athena, the Minerva of Athens, is universally known as the “goddess of wisdom,” the inventress of arts and sciences.

We have Rome borrowing pagan rituals to change the date of Christ’s entrance into the world by 4 years to compensate amalgamating the celebration of devil worship with Christianity; the adoption of Ishtar, or Astarte, Easter, as a Papist degradation of worship; the violation of the regulative principle in deeming a day to be worshipped as such, the entrance of eggs from Druidic worship, or pomegranates and oranges that turned into chocolate bunnies and Ishtar eggs for a candy basket to give on Easter Sunday, and the Babylonian influences of pagan rituals through every aspect of Easter and we find you, reader, going out this week to apply this all to little Johnny and little Debbie because everyone else is doing it at church.

If you want to be a Papist, then call yourself a Papist, or a Druid, or a Grecian worshipper of the devil. Don’t call yourself Christian by upholding a blatantly obvious demonic holy-day that God abhors. When you partake of such wicked schemes, God’s anger is aroused, and He states in Deuteronomy 32:17, “They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known.” When you give your child their Easter basket, recall God’s words, and heed the Psalmist in Psalm 106:37, “They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons.” Know that you serve the same blasphemies that Romanism has brought into Christendom, and that the Scriptures rightly warns the covenant people of God that they should abstain from such things and be separate.

1 Timothy 4:1 states, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.” When you worship using the devil’s teachings, you give heed to demonic influences and introduce them to your children. You might say, “Hey, come on. It’s just a chocolate bunny, some jelly beans and a few hardboiled eggs right?” No. It is a giving of your mind, heart and family over to the trinkets of the devil and the worship of his holy-day that has been resurrected and founded on demonic influences and teachings – it is devil worship. If you celebrate Easter, you spit in the face of Jesus Christ who is to be worshipped not on one day in the year on “Resurrection Sunday”, but all the days of all your life – for He is the Redeemer of the Covenant people of God every day. One should not desire to carry parts of the package of Romanism following papist theological ideas with Lent, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Easter, etc. The Romanist Holy Week is the culmination of events marking the final days of Jesus before Easter Sunday. These are the days:

Palm Sunday – The Sunday before Easter Sunday recalling Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem a week before dying on the cross.

Holy Monday – Jesus’ cleansing of the temple and turning over the tables of the money changers to purify the house of worship.

Holy Tuesday – Jesus’ talk with his disciples on the Mount of Olives about the soon to come destruction of Jerusalem.

Holy Wednesday – The day Judas decided to betray Jesus in exchange for 30 pieces of silver.

Maundy Thursday – The Last Supper of Jesus and his time in the garden with his disciples who would not stay awake before his arrest.

Good Friday – The day Jesus died on the cross.

Holy Saturday – The final day of Lent and the Holy Week.

Easter Sunday – The resurrection of Jesus.

However, we have been delivered through the Scriptures from following such man-made things.

There is a great difference between the works of the devil and the works of the Triune God. The devil deceives by subtle manipulation (Hey, Easter is not all bad; or – redeem it for God!), and the Triune Godhead commands nothing more than perfect obedience to His will and Word (Thou Shalt not worship any other gods, nor shall you worship God according to the commandments of men). The devil wants you to worship Jesus Christ in the manner that demonic teachings lay out Easter. God commands you to worship Him as His Word dictates. Deuteronomy 4:2 states, “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.” The devil is the father of lies and wants you to believe the lie that Easter is a Christian holiday, like Lent and Christmas. But our true Father is in heaven who commands us today, as Acts 17:30-31 states, “to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead,” who is Jesus Christ. You should talk about that day and wonder, Christian, if you will stand when He appears. There is safety in appearing in the righteousness of Christ on the Day of Judgment. But there is no safety in any degree of comprises for the sake of a few jelly beans.

POST SCRIPT

I do not want Christians to be leery of buying a bag of jelly beans or eating a Cadbury Egg. It is not that jelly beans or chocolate bunnies are evil in and of themselves. Buy some jelly beans during the 4th of July and have at them. Make some chocolate bunnies and eat them up during January or September. But do not associate yourself or your family with the Romanist amalgamation of pagan rituals during the March-April time of Lent, Good Friday, Palm Sunday and Easter. Those associations are in direct violation of God’s commands, and those associations overrule your plea to Christian Liberty because God is very clear about His worship. As Revelation 19:10 states, “Worship God.”

[1] See Alexander Hislop’s work, “The Two Babylons” which outlines the history behind these pagan origins in great depth. The work can be found online here: http://philologos.org/__eb-ttb/intro.htm

NAMES OF GOD’S ELECT NEVER BLOTTED OUT

NAMES OF GOD’S ELECT NEVER BLOTTED OUT

Thomas Watson

When God calls a man, He does not repent of it.  God does not, as many friends do, love one day, and hate another, or as princes, who make their subjects favorites, and afterwards throw them into prison.

This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits of no alteration.  God’s call is founded upon His decree, and His decree is immutable.  Acts of grace cannot be reversed.  God blots out His people’s sins, but not their names.

GRACE THAT CONQUERS

GRACE THAT CONQUERS

Gerald D. Buss

Some while ago, a gamekeeper was walking through part of the estate for which he was responsible, when he heard the moaning of a dog. He turned aside and found a dog with its leg trapped in a snare. When he first tried to approach the dog to free it, he was met with snarls and vicious growls. But notwithstanding the hostile dog, he managed at length to release its leg, whereupon the dog turned and licked his face appreciatively and followed him as if it was his own dog.

What a picture is this of the effects of grace!

When the Lord begins to call a sinner by His grace, the natural heart of that sinner is totally opposed to God and godliness. This is seen when the sinner says: “We will not have this Man to reign over us.” [Luke 19:14]

But grace conquers this in the end, and by love changes the heart, renews the will, and turns the feet to Zion’s hill.

THE HEART OF THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL

THE HEART OF THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL

Benjamin Warfield

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast!” [Eph 2:8,9]

There are, especially, THREE ideas which are conveyed by the word “Grace,” all of which must be given full validity if we are to understand what the apostle was impressing with such earnestness upon the Ephesians.

THE FIRST of them is the idea of power. Grace is power. And it is only because Grace is power that it can save, save dead men, men dead in trespasses and sins. If men were not dead, possibly they might be saved by something else than power. By good advice, say; by pointing out to them something, some good thing, to do, by which they might inherit eternal life. That is. what the law does. And that is why the law cannot save, cannot, that is, save dead men. The law tells us what we ought to do. Because the law is the law of God, perfect and holy and just and good, it tells us perfectly what we ought to do. But it is of no avail to tell dead men what they ought to do. Dead men cannot do anything. They need not instruction but life; not good counsel but power.

That is the reason why Paul, when he is assuring the Romans that the salvation which had been begun in them should certainly be completed, hangs it all on the fact that they were not under law but under Grace. “Sin shall not have dominion over you,” he promises them — and what a great promise that is! — “sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under Grace” (Rom. vi. 14). If they were under law, sin certainly would have dominion over them. Law can do nothing but tell us what is right and what is wrong; and after that there is nothing that it can do. It cannot enable us to do the right and refuse the wrong which it has made known to us. But Grace is power. It does not instruct, it energizes; and what dead men need is energizing, such energizing as raises the dead. Only God’s Grace, which is almighty power, can do that.

It is, says Paul (Eph. i. 19, 20), the same “working of the strength of his might which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead.” This is the first idea which is conveyed by the word “Grace,” when we are told that it is by Grace that we have been saved. Grace is power, and because it is God’s Grace, it is almighty power.

THE SECOND IDEA conveyed by it is the idea of love. Grace is power. But it is not bare power; “wild” power, as we say; power operating without direction, producing any variety of effects. It is power directed by love. That is the fundamental meaning of the word “Grace” — favor, love, yearning desire. And that is what Grace always means, when it is spoken of in the New Testament with reference to God. It always expresses the idea of good will, kindness, favor, love. Power, in itself considered, may blast as well as bless. The power that Grace is, always blesses, because Grace is love. The Grace of God is the power of God, exerted in kindness; it is the love of God acting, according to its nature, in blessing. And therefore, in the passage from Ephesians which has been in our mind (Eph. ii. 1-10), it is because he is telling his readers that it was due only to the riches of God’s mercy and “his great love wherewith he loved us” that we are saved, that Paul is led to interject suddenly in explanation of it all, “By Grace have ye been saved.”

To be saved in the riches of God’s mercy because of the greatness of his love — that is what it is to be saved by Grace. For the same reason, when Paul comes to speak, a little later, of the manifestation of the exceeding riches of God’s Grace in our salvation, he explains that the precise thing in which these exceeding riches of God’s Grace are manifested, is “kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Grace is manifested in kindness: to deal kindly with us is to deal graciously with us. The second idea which is conveyed by the word “Grace,” when we are told that it is by Grace that we are saved, then, is that we owe our salvation purely to the love of God. Grace is love; and because it is God’s Grace by which we are saved, our salvation is a pure product of the love of God.

THE THIRD IDEA conveyed by the word “Grace” is the idea of gratuitousness. Grace is gratuitous just because it is love, that is, because it is the “love of benevolence,” as we say, the love that is good will, kindness, favor. It is the very nature of the love that is good will, kindness, favor, that it is gratuitous. We might do something, perhaps, to attract to ourselves, to secure, to deserve the “love of complacency,” that is to say, the kind of love that seeks and finds gratification for itself in its object, rather than is intent only on benefiting its object; that seeks its own pleasure in its object rather than purely seeking to do it good. But that is not the kind of love that Grace is. Grace is the love that is good will, kindness, favor, and the love that is good will, kindness, favor is in the nature of the case gratuitous.

At all events this is what the Bible speaks of when it speaks of the Grace of God. Paul, for instance, is at great pains to make it clear that the Grace of God is not earned by us, is not secured by us, is not obtained by us; but is just given to us, comes to us purely gratuitously. What is of Grace, he tells us, is by that very fact not of works; if it be in any way, in the slightest measure, earned, by that very fact it ceases to be of Grace (Rom. xi. 6). He carries the idea, indeed, to its extreme height. Grace, with him, is not only pure kindness, kindness which has not been earned (had it been earned, it would have ceased to be kindness), but kindness to the undeserving in the positive sense, kindness to the ill-deserving.

Grace is very distinctly and very emphatically love to the ill-deserving. This is the third idea which is conveyed by the word “Grace” when we are told that it is by Grace that we have been saved. Our salvation is a pure gratuity from God. We have not earned it; we have not secured it; we have not obtained it. God has fixed upon us in the riches of His mercy and the greatness of his unconstrained love, pouring out upon us in the exceeding riches of His Grace His pure kindness in Christ Jesus.

This is then what Paul means when he tells us with reiterated emphasis that it is by Grace, by Grace and nothing else than Grace, that we have been saved. He means that we have not saved ourselves. It is God who has saved us, God and God alone. If we had saved ourselves, or supplied anything whatever which entered into our salvation as in any measure its procuring cause, it would not have been distinctively by Grace that we have been saved; and Paul’s strong emphasis on the assertion that it is “by Grace,” that it is by nothing else than Grace, that we have been saved would be misplaced. We were in point of fact dead in our trespasses and sins and therefore utterly unable to move hand or foot to seek salvation. We were helplessly and hopelessly “lost.”

We owe our salvation wholly to God’s kindness, to His undeserved love, to His “Grace.” It is ALL from Him, in its beginning and middle and end: all from him. Just as Lazarus was called out of the grave by the sheer power of the God who raises the dead, we have been called out of our death in trespasses and sins by the sheer Grace of God, the Grace which is the power of God, working under the direction of his ineffable love, poured out in gratuitous kindness upon ill-deserving sinners. We have not made the first step in knowledge of the salvation of God until we have learned, and made the very center of our thought of it, this great fact: that it is by the pure Grace of God, by that and that alone, that we are saved. That, as we have said, is the heart of the heart of the gospel!

Now, of course, no one will imagine that God, who saves us thus by His almighty Grace, has saved us by the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward according to that working of the strength of His might which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, inadvertently, without meaning to do so. Of course He has meant to save us, just as He does save us, by His pure Grace; and has meant thus to save us all along. It is this, His meaning to save us by His Grace before He actually does so, which we call “election.” Election, we thus see, is but the first moving of God’s Grace looking to our salvation; and therefore Paul calls it “the election of Grace” (Rom. xi. 5), the election, that is, which has its origin in the Grace of God toward us, which proceeds from it, comes out of it as its appropriate manifestation.

It is the first step of God’s love, as He prepares to save us by His Grace, the setting of His love upon us, that in its own good time and way it may work its will on and in us. It is nothing, in other words, but God’s purpose to save us, a purpose which He must, of course, form before He saves us, and a purpose which equally of course He fulfils in saving us. What God purposes He certainly performs, no purpose of His is idle or ineffective. This, His purpose of salvation, therefore becomes the sure beginning and pledge of our actual salvation and draws in its train all else that enters into our salvation.

STRAINING AT A GNAT AND SWALLOWING A CAMEL

STRAINING AT A GNAT AND SWALLOWING A CAMEL

Michael Jeshurun

It’s really amazing how religious men will ‘strain at a gnat, while swallowing a whole camel’ [Matt 23:24]

In this case father Schober appears so disturbed and convicted about nailing the idol of a dead Jesus to a crucifix while day after day he is guilty of a greater sacrilege and blasphemy in the sacrifice of the Roman Catholic ‘Mass’ where he purportedly sacrifices Christ again and again for the sins of the devout Roman Catholics who are gathered there!

That’s right! And I’ll say it again – the Great Whore of Revelation 17 – The Mother of Harlots – Babylon the Great of the Apocalypse is none other than the Roman Catholic Church and its Papacy!

THE TESTIMONY OF OLDER DIVINES AS OPPOSED TO PRESENT EVANGELICALS (LIKE BILLY GRAHAM) CONCERNING THE POPE!

Roger Williams (First Baptist Pastor in America)

He spoke of the Pope as “the pretended Vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself…speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition (II Thess. 2).” Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers by Froom, Vol. 3, pg. 52.

John Calvin (Presbyterian)

“Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt… I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” Taken from Institutes by John Calvin.

Martin Luther (Lutheran)

“We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist…personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist.” (Aug. 18, 1520) Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 2., pg. 121 by Froom. (In response to a papal bull [official decree]): “I despise and attack it, as impious, false… It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein… I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself.” –D’Aubigné, b.6, ch. 9.

John Knox (Scotch Presbyterian)

Knox wrote to abolish “that tyranny which the pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church” and that the pope should be recognized as “the very antichrist, and son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks.” Taken from The Zurich Letters, pg. 199 by John Knox

Thomas Cranmer (Anglican)

“Whereof it followeth Rome to be the seat of antichrist, and the pope to be very antichrist himself. I could prove the same by many other scriptures, old writers, and strong reasons.” (Referring to prophecies in Revelation and Daniel.) Taken from Works by Cranmer, Vol. 1, pp. 6-7

Cotton Mather (Congregational Theologian)

“The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.” Taken from The Fall of Babylon by Cotton Mather in Froom’s book, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 3, pg. 113

The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689)

“The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order or government of the church, is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner; neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ.” (1689 Baptist Confession of Faith)

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646)

“There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalts himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God.” (1646 Westminster Confession of Faith)

Charles Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)

“It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the popery in the Church of Rome there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. If there were to be issued a hue and cry for Antichrist, we should certainly take up this church on suspicion, and it would certainly not be let loose again, for it so exactly answers the description.”

“Popery is contrary to Christ’s Gospel, and is the Antichrist, and we ought to pray against it. It should be the daily prayer of every believer that Antichrist might be hurled like a millstone into the flood and for Christ, because it wounds Christ, because it robs Christ of His glory, because it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement, and lifts a piece of bread into the place of the Saviour, and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Ghost, and puts a mere fallible man like ourselves up as the vicar of Christ on earth; if we pray against it, because it is against Him, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors: we shall love their souls though we loath and detest their dogmas, and so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened, because we turn our faces towards Christ when we pray.” (Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome)

These are just a few we have quoted, but almost all Reformers and a majority of the Puritans were convinced that the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church was the Antichrist. Even most deluded Arminians like Wesley who believed in the error of free will had it right when it came to the ‘Man of Sin’ – the Pope!

In the light of these testimonies, is it not sad to see the majority of the so called ‘Evangelicals’ of our day like Billy Graham and many others shake hands with the Pope and recognize him as a Christian!
In a January 1997 interview with Larry King, Graham said that he has wonderful fellowship with Rome, is comfortable with the Vatican, and agrees with the Pope on almost everything.

LARRY KING: What do you think of the other [churches] … like Mormonism? Catholicism? Other faiths within the Christian concept?
GRAHAM: Oh, I think I have a wonderful fellowship with all of them.
LARRY KING: You’re comfortable with Salt Lake City. You’re comfortable with the Vatican?
GRAHAM: I am very comfortable with the Vatican. I have been to see the Pope several times. In fact, the night — the day that he was inaugurated, made Pope, I was preaching in his cathedral in Krakow. I was his guest … [and] when he was over here … in Columbia, South Carolina … he invited me on the platform to speak with him. I would give one talk, and he would give the other … but I was two-thirds of the way to China…
KING: You like this Pope?
GRAHAM: I like him very much. … He and I agree on almost everything.

Many people already know that Graham has completely embraced the Catholic Pope, John Paul II, as a great Christian leader and his nomination for “the man of the century.” The truth is this same Pope is not even saved, as he has blasphemed the truth of the Gospel by embracing every religious heresy from Kali the Hindu death goddess to the voodoo worshipers of Benin, West Africa. Because the False Prophet described in the book of Revelation embraces and leads the world to the following of the Antichrist, anyone that validates the False Prophet is just another false prophet. Dr. Billy Graham has plainly demonstrated his true spiritual character with his ecumenical agenda. That powerful and largely hidden agenda is carefully documented for anyone that cares enough about the truth to seek it out.

Dr. Graham said that Pope John Paul II’s visit to the United States in 1979, “could start a new wave of spiritual revival in our nation which we desperately need. In the short time he has been Pope, John Paul II has become the moral leader of the world. My prayers and the prayers of countless other Protestants will be with him as he makes his journey. His uncompromising moral stand and his warm human personality have won the admiration of many from different religious backgrounds and his visit will be of great significance for all Americans as well as the world.”

All Popes preach a false gospel, how could Pope John Paul possibly start a “genuine spiritual revival?”

Following Pope John Paul II’s visit, Graham praised the Pope as a “statesman, a pastor, and an evangelist.” Graham said that the Pope was “pointing people to Christ,” and he called John Paul II “the greatest religious leader of the modern world.” Graham gave not one word of warning about the false gospel Roman Catholicism and the Pope preach – not one warning about the continuing efforts of Romanism toward spiritual and political control of the world!

Billy Graham has recommended a biography of Pope Paul VI which encouraged “devotion to Mary, the Saints, worship of the wafer at the Mass, and trust in the sacraments for salvation.” He called the book “a classic in devotion.”” Having visited Pope John Paul II several times, Graham calls him “THE WORLD’S GREATEST EVANGELIST” and says that any differences in their theology “ARE NOT IMPORTANT AS FAR AS PERSONAL SALVATION IS CONCERNED.”

Tell that to the millions who died at the hands of Rome because of very real differences that Graham now denies! On the Phil Donahue Show, Billy Graham praised the Pope as “a moral and spiritual leader” that the American people could look up to and said, “Thank God, I’ve got somebody to quote now with some real authority.”

BILLY GRAHAM BELIEVES THE LATE POPE JOHN PAUL II SURELY WENT TO HEAVEN

On Larry King Live April 2, 2005, Billy Graham said the late Pope was “the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world in the last 100 years.” When Larry King asked, “There is no question in your mind that he is with God now?” Graham replied: “Oh, no. There may be a question about my own, but I don’t think Cardinal Wojtyla, or the Pope — I think he’s with the Lord, because he believed. He believed in the cross. That was his focus throughout his ministry, the cross, no matter if you were talking to him from personal issue or an ethical problem, he felt that there was the answer to all of our problems, the cross and the resurrection. And he was a strong believer.”

This is a most amazing statement by the man who is considered the world’s foremost evangelist. Graham expresses less than certainty about his own salvation but complete certainty about the Pope’s, even though he preached a false gospel of grace mixed with works and sacraments and put his trust in Mary as his intercessor. Graham should know that John Paul II did not believe in the cross in any scriptural sense. Rather he believed in the cross PLUS baptism PLUS the mass PLUS confession to a priest PLUS the saints, and above all PLUS Mary. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” [Gal. 1:6].

Now what does all this tell YOU, beloved?! It SHOULD tell you that the ‘Apostasy’ spoken of in Scripture is not coming sometime soon, but is ALREADY HERE! And fact is, many who deem themselves ‘Christians’ are already a part of it!!

So, do Catholics go to heaven? You better find out, ‘cause you could be one!!!

FAITH – IT’S GOD’S GIFT

FAITH – IT’S GOD’S GIFT

preacher Donnie Bell

Before any sinner can or will come to Christ, he must be born again. Faith is the RESULT, not the CAUSE of the new birth (1 John 5:1). That faith by which we receive God’s salvation in Christ is the gift of God. “Salvation is of the LORD,” in its entirety! It is NOT of works at any time in a believer’s life, GOD WILL NEVER BE BROUGHT INTO DEBT BY THE WORKS OF ANY MAN, HE WILL NEVER OWE A BLESSING, ALL IS OF GRACE.

Faith in Christ is as much the gift and work of God’s free grace as election, redemption, and regeneration. If you believe, it is because GOD has given you faith (Phil. 1:29). You “believe according to the working of His mighty power” (Eph. 2:19). Faith is NOT the work of the sinner’s imaginary “free will.” Faith is the gift of God’s sovereign grace, the result of God’s operation upon the heart. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8-9)!

OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE

OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE

J.C. Philpot

 “O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.” [2Chr 20:12]

Jehoshaphat did not know what to do; he was altogether at his wit’s end; and yet he took the wisest course a man could take.

This is the beauty of it; that when we are fools, then we are wise; when we are weak, then we are strong; when we know not what to do, then we do the only right thing. O had Jehoshaphat taken any other course; had he collected an army, sent through Judah, raised troops and forged swords and spears he would certainly have been defeated! But not knowing what to do, he did the very thing he should do. OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE.”

 “Thou must fight our battles; thou must take the matter into Thy own hands. Our eyes are upon Thee, waiting upon thee, looking up, and hoping in Thee; believing in Thy holy name, expecting help from Thee, from whom alone help can come.” But this is painful work to be brought to this point, “Our eyes are upon Thee,” implying there is no use looking to any other quarter. It assumes that the soul has looked, and looked, and looked elsewhere in vain, and then fixed its eyes upon God as knowing that from Him alone all help must come.

This I believe to be the distinctive mark of a Christian, that his eyes are upon God. On his bed by night; in his room by day; in business or at market, when his soul is in trouble, cast down, and perplexed, his eyes are UPON GOD. From Him alone all help must come; none else can reach his case. All other but the help of God is ineffectual; it leaves him where it found him; it does him no good. We are never safe except our eyes are upon God. Let our eyes be upon Him, we can walk safely; let our eyes be upon the creature, we are pretty sure to slip and stumble.

HOW MANY RELIGIONS ARE THERE IN THE WORLD?

HOW MANY RELIGIONS ARE THERE IN THE WORLD?

by John G. Reisinger

There are basically only two religions in the world. One says, “IF YOU WILL do such and such, God will graciously bestow His blessing upon you.” The thousand and one varieties of this religion differ only on what the “such and such” is that you must be willing to do. One variety says bathe in a sacred river, another bids you kiss the sacred rock located in the holy city, still another says be baptized or some similar rite, and in distinctly evangelical circles this religion emphasizes, “IF YOU WILL OPEN YOUR HEART, THEN GOD . . .”

Notice carefully the three key words IF YOU WILL.
(1) God’s forgiveness is possible IF …..
(2) God’s forgiveness is possible if YOU…
(3) God’s forgiveness is possible if you WILL. . . .

The ultimate success or failure of this religion is determined solely by the will of man. Everything depends on an “if,” and on “you,” and on “your willingness” to do your part. Redemption is always CONDITIONAL since it depends on man’s cooperation for success. The great work of salvation is not actually accomplished until God can find someone who is willing to “cooperate with Him.” Our forefathers called this “if you will” system the “religion of works.” It was also called “Arminianism” and “semi-Pelagianism” since these were the men who originally caused division in the church by introducing this error of free will. Regardless of the name attached to it by friend or foe, the distinguishing marks are always the same — the IF, the YOU, and YOUR WILL are the decisive factors that make the plan of salvation work.

This religion offers a wonderful plan of salvation that is able to do mighty things if YOU WILL ONLY LET IT. The God of this free will religion can only desire and offer to save sinners. He is helpless to secure, by His own power, what He longs to do. The goal of redemption cannot be reached unless man, of his own free will, chooses to permit God to accomplish His purposes.

The false religion of free will, or works, is based upon several unbiblical doctrines. The most basic of these is THE UNIVERSAL AND INDISCRIMINATE REDEMPTIVE LOVE OF GOD. God is said to love all men in the same way and to the same degree. He loved Judas the same as Peter, Esau like Jacob, and the goats as much as the sheep. Since His love is universal then the greatest gift of His love, Jesus Christ His Son, must have been given to provide a universal atonement, meaning for every individual without exception, in His death. The objects of the Son’s atonement must be equal to the objects of the Father’s love, so both must include every man. If the Father loves all men equally, and the Son redeemed every man without exception, it follows that the Holy Spirit must convict every man or else the Trinity is not working together toward the same end in the task of redeeming lost men.

It should be amply clear that this religion of works, or free will, based on a universal love and universal atonement, makes God’s whole scheme of redemption depend on man for its success. God’s love will prevail IF MAN will let it. Christ’s atonement will actually redeem only IF MAN will let it. The Holy Spirit will apply redemption’s purchased benefits IF MAN will allow Him. No wonder C. H. Spurgeon, that great soul winner, called free will “utter nonsense,” and universal atonement a “monstrous doctrine akin to blasphemy.”

Now the second religion is the message of the Bible. It is the gospel of FREE GRACE. It does not look to God for the PROVISION and then turn to man for the POWER, but it boldly proclaims that the same sovereign grace that planned salvation for helpless sinners also furnishes them with the ability to desire and receive it. This second religion not only starts at a different place, it works on a different principle, and moves toward a different goal. In short, it is a totally different religion. The religion based on free will (Arminianism – If you will …), and that based of free grace (Calvinism — God makes us willing …) are two very distinct and opposite religions that differ on every theological point at which they meet.

Any individual who piously says, “It is really not important, it is merely a question of EMPHASIS,” is either deliberately dishonest or completely ignorant of Bible doctrine in church history. The Synod of Dort and the Council of Trent clarified forever the vital importance of the issue once and for all time. I challenge any man to read Dr. J. I. Packer’s introduction to the DEATH OF DEATH IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST by John Owen, and then talk about emphasis. Packer clearly shows that free will and free grace are totally different religions, and furthermore, that they are irreconcilable enemies.

WHO WEARS THE CROWN?

As you can see, the real battle ground is the nature of man, and the prize to be won is the Crown of Credit for making redemption’s plan actually work. Is free grace, given sovereignly by the Father, the decisive factor that causes the elect to believe in the first place, or is man’s will, exercised sovereignly by the individual, the decisive factor that causes God to choose these whom He “foresees” are willing to believe? Who wins the right to wear the crown of glory, God or man? And by what power was that right won — free will or free grace?

The basic difference between these two opposing religions can also be summed up by asking another question, a question vitally related to the first one. Instead of asking how any man can perish, and being told that, “the man would not do his part which was to simply believe,” we now ask, “Why are SOME men saved?” How is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s work able to succeed in some cases but not in others? The religion of free will humbly (?) answers that “MAN MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE BY BEING WILLING TO OPEN HIS HEART AND GIVE GOD A CHANCE!” It does not matter if we are speaking of those who perish or those who are saved, we always come back to that IF YOU WILL.

Actually, the gospel based on free will can never be more than a gospel of mere POSSIBILITY. It is a plan of redemption that cannot truly redeem by its own power, but can only effect real salvation when it finds someone who make themselves willing to do “their part.” It is not a question of whether a man must, or does, become willing before he can be saved, we all believe that, but WHO AND WHAT POWER makes the sinner willing? Does man, of himself, choose to become willing, or does God, by His sovereign power, make His elect willing “in the day of His power” (Ps. 110:3)? It seems both logical and judicially necessary to crown with glory the individual who made the plan of salvation actually work, and the free willer does not hesitate to reach for the crown and place it on the head of the sovereign and free will of man.

Some folks may feel we are laboring this point to an extreme, but actually this is the heart of the matter. Who really deserves all the glory for man’s salvation? It cannot be both God and man, nor can it be, as many would imply, half and half. Either God saves sinners by “making them willing in the day of His power,” or they save themselves by making themselves willing in the “day of their free will decision.”

Read the full sermon –
http://www.the-highway.com/2religions.html